(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's jobless rate dropped last month as more people left the work force, and payrolls fell even though a higher proportion of people remaining in the work force reported being employed.
The state Department of Labor and Industry says Pennsylvania's unemployment rate fell four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in December, its lowest point in five years.
Today's figure means Pennsylvania's jobless rate has dropped four straight months from 7.7 percent in August. The national rate was 6.7 percent in December.
Pennsylvania's labor force, or the number of people working or searching for work, shrank in December by 15,000, while the number of employed people rose by 12,000.
In a separate survey of employers, the department estimated that payrolls fell by 11,400 nonfarm jobs in December.
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