PA Unemployment Drops, Job Growth Still Weak

We’re not producing jobs; we’re just giving up.

Here’s the good news: Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate has dipped to 6.4 percent —the lowest rate since November 2008.

Here’s the less good news: That number only looks good because Pennsylvania’s workforce keeps shrinking. People are giving up on finding work here, which leaves a tighter labor pool with lower unemployment behind.

Here’s the numbers to prove it:

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 11.32.51 AM

The workforce actually lost 8,000 members between December and January; that could be seasonal fluctuation, but since January 2013 there are 74,000 fewer Pennsylvanians trying to find work. (That 1.1 percent decline in the size of the state workforce, incidentally, quintuples the national decline of 0.2 percent.)

That’s how a 0.3 percent increase in the number of employed Pennsylvanians—just 18,000 new jobs over the course of a year—somehow translate to a 1.4 percent drop in unemployment over the same time period.

Stop us if you’ve heard this story before.

It’s not that we’re producing jobs; instead, we’re just about leading the nation in giving up.

Around the Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.