Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to a new record low in December.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry said the state’s unemployment rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point over the month to 3.9% in December.
Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate was also down one-tenth of a point over the month, falling to 3.5 percent.
The state’s unemployment rate was 1.6 percentage points below its December 2021 level and the national rate was down 0.4 percentage points over the year.
“Pennsylvania’s new record low unemployment rate of 3.9% is encouraging. Pennsylvanians are reentering the workforce, launching new careers and pursuing jobs that sustain their families. Opportunity abounds today for Pennsylvania workers,” said L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker. “We also know that a historically tight labor market presents its own challenges, particularly for employers who need workers with specialized skillsets. L&I’s role in providing services to workers and employers is as critical as ever, and we are committed to meeting those challenges and building a Pennsylvania economy that works for everyone.”
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force, which is the estimated number of residents working or looking for work, was up 9,000 over the month. The employment count rose by 11,000 and resident unemployment declined by 1,000.
Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 17,000 over the month to 6,040,100 in December. Jobs increased from November in 9 of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest gain was in construction , which was up 4,600 jobs, while professional & business services jobs rose to a record high level. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 202,500 with gains in 10 of the 11 supersectors.
From April 2020 to December 2022, Pennsylvania recovered approximately 95% of jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic.
Four supersectors – trade, transportation & utilities; information; professional & business services; and manufacturing – were above their pre-pandemic job levels in December 2022.