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State jobless rate edges lower, joining most parts of nation

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate fell slightly in October and employers reported no change in total nonfarm jobs, according to the state Department of Labor & Industry.

The Labor Department said unemployment fell in 28 states last month, and employers added jobs in 34 states. The gains suggest recent improvements in the job market have occurred in most regions of the country.

The jobless rate last month was 7.5 percent, down from 7.6 percent in September, the state said Friday. The rate declined as the size of the civilian labor force dropped, and the number of employed and unemployed also fell between September and October.

The unemployment rate is determined through a survey of households and is seasonally adjusted.

A separate survey of employers found that the total number of nonfarm jobs was a seasonally adjusted 5.76 million in October, unchanged from September.

An uptick of 2,100 jobs in goods-producing industries was offset by a loss of 2,100 jobs in service industries, the state report showed.

The Labor Department said jobless rates rose in 11 states and were flat in 11. Employers cut jobs in 15 states.

The biggest job gains occurred in Florida, California and North Carolina. Kentucky, Washington and New Jersey lost the most jobs.

Hiring has picked up nationwide, according to the government's October jobs report released this month. That report showed employers added 204,000 positions last month, up from 163,000 in September.

The unemployment rate nationally ticked up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent, in part because of the partial government shutdown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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