ShareThis Page
Business

Pa.'s jobless rate jumps as economy slows

| Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012, 6:06 p.m.

The state's jobless rate jumped last month to 7.9 percent, three-tenths of a percentage point above June's rate, as employment dropped and the number of unemployed residents increased.

Those unemployed in the state increased 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 509,000 in July, as employment dropped by 10,000 and 10,000 new people joined the labor force, the state Department of Labor and Industry said on Thursday.

June's unemployment rate, originally 7.5 percent, was revised to 7.6 percent. The jobless rate comes from a survey of households.

“The number of unemployed going up 21,000 is a bit of concern,” said Frank Gamrat, economist at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, a Castle Shannon think tank.

“It shows an economy that's slipping,” he said.

Meanwhile, a separate survey of businesses showed a drop of 3,100 jobs in July, the state said. On a seasonally adjusted basis there were 5,709,200 total nonfarm jobs in July, down from 5,712,300 in June.

It was the fourth consecutive monthly decline in the jobs count, the state said. The unemployment rate was up for the second straight month.

Despite those trends, Gamrat said the economy continues a slow recovery thanks to a strong business and financial services sector and from mining and manufacturing related to Marcellus shale natural gas production.

“We are better off than we were last year, but the growth is not as robust as it was,” Gamrat said. “Any concerns that the economy statewide is losing ground is probably unfounded.”

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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.

click me