May Jobs Report: Unemployment Hits 5.5%
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point from April’s 5.3 percent to 5.5 percent for May. The national average decreased to 4.7 percent, meaning that Pennsylvania’s unemployment continued to be above the national rate during the month of May.
The civilian labor rose by 15,000 during the month of May, reaching a record high of 6,541,000 while resident labor declined by 2,000, contributing to the increase of unemployment by 17,000.
Total nonfarm jobs decreased 10,200 to 5,871,000 and overall seven of the eleven supersectors declined. The largest decrease was observed in information, with a drop of 4,500, which has been largely attributed to the strike at Verizon and the largest increase was observed in education and health services, with a gain of 3,400, its highest point on record.
From May of last year, the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, pointing to a net .3 percent increase in unemployment from last year, although the rate fluctuated in both directions over the course of the year.