August Jobs Report: PA Unemployment Rises
After three months at a steady rate of 7.5%, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose to 7.7% in the month of August. The national rate was 7.3%.
The good news
It’s hard to find.
The state added a net 26,900 jobs this month (compared to August, 2012) according to seasonally adjusted figures from BLS. That number is more than 500 less than the amount added in July.
Looking only at private sector jobs, as Gov. Tom Corbett prefers to do, the state added more than 34,000 according to an analysis of the BLS numbers from Arizona State University.
The mediocre news
Despite the unemployment rate having increased, it still remains half a percentage point down from the beginning of the year. In January, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 8.2%. The rate still remains relatively far from its recent peak of 8.7% in March of 2010.
The Commonwealth ranked 28th in the raw number of jobs added, according to an analysis of the BLS numbers from Arizona State University.
The bad news
The unemployment rate experienced its first increase since January, from 7.5% to 7.7%. That’s 0.4% higher than the national rate, the biggest deficit over the national rate that Pa. has had since at least 1990.
Pennsylvania’s rate remains above the national average, which was 7.3% as of August. As a whole the country added just over 2.1 million jobs in August; however, both the country and state have continued to lose public sector jobs.
Pa. lost 7,800 public sector jobs, according to an analysis of the BLS numbers from Arizona State University.
It’s been four months since more than half a million people were unemployed in Pa. Back in March the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 513,000. Now, with preliminary results released this morning, the number of unemployed once again crested 500,000 with August’s numbers at 501,000.
The state is ranked 46th nationwide in job growth — no change from July. The state’s historic average rank in job growth is 34th.
Side note: To determine Pa.’s job growth rank, PoliticsPA and most economists look at a 12 month moving average of jobs numbers.
The Pa. Democratic Party uses a less accurate measure which makes a simple comparison to each month’s numbers compared the same month, previous year. Ironically, according to that measure, Pa. improved by 6 places, jumping from 49th in July to 43rd in August.