Midstate jobless numbers generally improved

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Jan 13, 2014 1:51 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- The latest employment data show decreasing unemployment rates across the midstate's metropolitan areas, but November's joblessness ticked upward in some of the region's rural labor markets.

The Harrisburg-Carlisle, Lancaster, Lebanon and York-Hanover metro areas all saw their unemployment rates fall by one or two-tenths of a percentage point for the month.

Lebanon's jobless rate of 5.8 percent ties it with State College for the lowest figure across all 14 of the state's Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

The York-Hanover MSA now stands at 6.9 percent unemployment. It's the first time since February of 2009 that number has fallen below 7 percent.

In many of the smaller labor markets -- like Selinsgrove, Sunbury, Lewistown and Juniata County -- November's jobless rate climbed between one and four tenths of a percentage point.

State Department of Labor and Industry numbers indicate several of those areas lost jobs in both the manufacturing and hospitality sectors, but each of them is faring better than it did in November of 2012. For instance, Selinsgrove's unemployment rate rose from 6.8 to 6.9 percent this past November -- a full percentage point lower than November 2012, when it stood at 7.9 percent.

The numbers show that most areas are posting gains in retail jobs, but losses in the hospitality sector. Both are seasonal trends.

Statewide unemployment fell two-tenths of a point to 7.3 percent in November, marking the third straight month-to-month decline.

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