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December Jobs Report: Unemployment Down to 4.8%

Unemployment-300x225The Department of Labor & Industry released its monthly jobs report today, showing a decrease in unemployment for the fourth straight month and the ninth decline overall in 2014.

The Good News

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.8 percent in December, three-tenths of a percentage point lower than November. December’s unemployment rate in the state is the lowest since March 2008.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania continues to look much more positive than the national average, which currently stands at 5.6 percent.

Compared to 2013, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is down 2.1 percentage points vs. the national rate decline of 1.1 percentage points.

Construction showed the largest year-to-year growth, jumping 4 percent from last December, while mining and logging was up 3.8 percent.

Mediocre News

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – remained stagnant from the past month. Resident employment was up only 0.2% from November.

The number of non-farm jobs saw a slight increase of 0.1% from the prior month and a total 0.9% year-to-year increase.

Bad News

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force dropped by 0.9 percent since December 2013 while the national rate increased by 0.7 percent. Meanwhile, only two sectors experienced year-to-year losses; information (down 1.3%) and government (down 0.5%).

6 Responses

  1. Try to convince the 92 million Americans currently out of the work force that they are experiencing improved conditions. Does the media really believe the 1/2 of college graduates currently working in jobs that require no degree are encouraged by this news (aka propaganda)?

  2. Millions have given up and permanently left the workforce. Millions more are working multiple jobs for lack of one good job. This is why the numbers look “good”. If things really were good, incumbents wouldn’t gotten shellacked across the nation in the last election.

  3. Very funny that every Republican credits the Republican governor and Republican Congress with an improving economy, and every Democrat credits a Democratic President with the same. When the roles are reversed, the credit and blame is reversed too.
    Governor Corbett was crushed. He was the only incumbent Republican holding a major office to lose to a Democrat, and he lost by 10% (a final amount reduced because he was a Republican running in a huge year for Republicans in Pennsylvania and nationally) – that’s a blowout. He won by only a similar amount in 2010 (an amount padded because he was a Republican running in another huge Republican year in Pennsylvania and nationally).

    Democrats have won 5 of the 6 statewide elected offices in Pennsylvania (Governor, US Senate, Attorney General, Auditor General, Treasurer), and Republicans have a lonely 1 statewide elected office (US Senator). Plus Democrats have won Pennsylvania in the last 6 presidential elections (the last time the Republicans won a presidential vote in Pennsylvania was 1988 (a very different time, 26 years ago). Face it, the Republicans can’t win Pennsylvania in a year with higher voter turnout and without the advantage of drawing districts to their own advantage (Congress, PA Senate, and PA House).

    Those are facts. You may not like them, but learn them and accept them.

  4. The question is, how much of the decline in the state unemployment rate was caused by the increase in government paid temporary highway jobs? The jobs are necessary and not permanent. The state gasoline Franchise Tax was increased to pay for the work.

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