Pa. jobless rate remains at a 4-year low
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate hovered at a four-year low of 7.5 percent in July, but job creation remained sluggish, signaling a halting recovery from the depths of the Great Recession.
Private-sector employers added 4,000 jobs last month over June, said a report on Friday from the state Department of Labor & Industry, but those gains were offset by a loss of 5,700 government jobs.
Pennsylvania Labor Secretary Julia Hearthway characterized July's results as “a great month.”
Economists, such as Mark Price at the Keystone Research Center, Harrisburg, disagreed.
“A great month in Pennsylvania is somewhere around 6,000 to 7,000 new jobs, which is a range that would quickly get us back to a lower, more acceptable unemployment rate and a healthy economy,” said Price.
He contrasted July's increase with the 19,100 jobs added in June.
The unemployment report signals Pennsylvania's economy is “chugging along, much like the national economy,” Price said. U.S. unemployment was 7.4 percent in July.
The jobless rate in Pennsylvania has not been beneath 7.5 percent since the 7.4 percent posted in March 2009.
“An unemployment rate of 7.5 percent is exceptionally and abnormally high. If the economy was healthier, I'd expect a rate of somewhere between 4 percent and 5 percent,” said Price. “It will take a while to get back to anything close to those numbers.”
The number of unemployed Pennsylvanians last month, 492,000, was 2,000 more than in June, a difference Price called ‘very small.” July's jobless was 31,000 fewer than in July 2012.
Pennsylvania jobs were added last month in leisure and hospitality, construction and financial activities, but declined in trade and transportation, manufacturing and some services.
Price expects construction employment will pick up because the demand and prices for housing have been rising. But he does not expect the state's manufacturing jobs, which have dipped the last couple of months, to accelerate much any time soon.
Thomas Olson is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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 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.
- Oil’s rebound pushes up price at gas pumps
- Mylan rejects Teva’s $40 billion takeover bid
- Visa limits vex businesses
- Experts: If health insurers’ safeguard goes broke, consumers could pay
- Rules could kick door open for nuclear power
- Tech sector drives gains on Wall Street
- California drought may be felt in Pittsburgh restaurants, groceries
- N.Y. firm set to buy second Downtown office building
- Nike, Under Armour invest in watching exercisers’ steps
- MedExpress bought by United Health Group
- Planned Smallman Place condos in Strip District selling fast