Pennsylvania's jobless rate falls to 8.1% as many give up looking for work
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate declined to 8.1 percent in February, the state Department of Labor and Industry reported Friday, largely because of a decrease in the number of people who stopped looking for work.
The drop in the unemployment rate, from 8.2 percent in January, belied numbers on job creation that signaled a tough market for unemployed workers. Employers gained a mere 600 jobs in February, the department said.
“The 600 was not impressive at all,” said Mark Price, labor economist for the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg.
The decrease in the unemployment rate was mostly because the labor force declined by 13,000, economists said. A decline in the labor force, which means people working or seeking a job, makes the ratio of jobless appear healthier.
The number of unemployed in Pennsylvania fell by 5,000 from January to 532,000 last month, according to figures that are adjusted to reflect seasonal fluctuations.
Manufacturing was the biggest gainer, adding 4,400 jobs. But that was offset by 5,200 job losses in education and health services.
U.S. unemployment was 7.7 percent in February. The state jobless rate was 7.6 percent in February 2012.
The seven-county Pittsburgh jobless rate for February is not yet available. The rate stood at 7.5 percent in January.
Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.