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Aug: State Unemployment Rates

September 22, 2012 by  

Aug: State Unemployment Rates, The state’s jobless rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.1 percent between July and August, matching the U.S. unemployment number. State Department of Labor & Industry officials noted that the state jobless figure matches that of August 2011.

It marks the 70th consecutive month the state has either mirrored or been below the national rate.

August numbers for particular areas of the state are not available at this time, according to Department of Labor spokeswoman Sara Goulet.

In July, Lycoming County’s jobless figure stood at 8.5 percent.

Goulet said the rise in unemployment is likely the result of a confluence of indicators.

A big reason for the increase, she said, may be attributed to the number of people let go at the end of the summer from temporary jobs, such as in construction.

“That’s probably the main thing,” she said.

Goulet explained that the state lost jobs at a pace less than that of most of the rest of the nation at the start of the recession in 2008.

That’s why the the state’s unemployment rate has been consistently below that of the nation’s.

“So our recovery is not as dramatic,” she said. “We didn’t lose as much as other states. So now things are evening out.”

The state’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was down 3,000 in August to 6.447 million, according to state figures.

Resident employment was down 19,000 to 5.95 million, and the number of jobless residents rose 16,000 to 525,000.

Pennsylvania’s labor force was 105,000 above its August 2011 level.

Unemployment rates rose in more than half of all states last month, the latest evidence that hiring remains tepid across the country.

The Labor Department said Friday that rates increased in 26 states. They fell in 12 states and were unchanged in the other 12.

Unemployment also rose in seven of the 11 key swing states in this year’s presidential election.

Nationwide, employers added only 96,000 jobs in August. That’s below July’s gain of 141,000 and the average of 226,000 jobs a month added in the January-March quarter.

The U.S. unemployment rate of 8.1 percent represents a two-tenths of a percentage point drop from July.

However, the government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching for jobs.

The rate in Michigan rose to 9.4 percent from 9 percent. The rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 12.1 percent in Nevada, which has the highest unemployment in the nation.

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