Unemployment ticks up in Pennsylvania but still below national average

22 January 2024- The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its preliminary employment situation report for December 2023.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point over the month to 3.5% in December. The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged from November at 3.7%. The Commonwealth’s unemployment rate was eight-tenths of a percentage point below its December 2022 level of 4.3%, while the national rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 12,000 over the month due mostly to a gain in resident employment (+12,000).

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 6,200 over the month to a record high of 6,182,700. This was the 11th record high in 2023. Jobs increased from November in five of the 11 industry supersectors with the largest gain in education & health services (+4,800), which rose to a record high. Two other supersectors – construction and financial activities – also rose to record high levels in December.

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 111,700 with gains in nine of the 11 supersectors. Education & health services (+58,400) had the largest volume over-the-year gain among supersectors.