State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Pa. job report shows regional range in unemployment

Written by Katie Meyer | May 30, 2019 6:39 AM

FILE PHOTO: In this March 7, 2019, file photo visitors to the Pittsburgh veterans job fair meet with recruiters at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's unemployment rate has been on the decline over the last year--hitting its lowest-recorded level ever in March.

But the picture is a little different when looking at individual areas across the state.

Overall, the commonwealth's unemployment rate is 3.8 percent.

But rates can range significantly from one metropolitan area to another--from a low of 2.9 percent in Gettysburg and State College, to a high of 4.7 in East Stroudsburg and the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton metro.

Jobs have risen by one percent statewide over the last year, but declined in three of the 18 metro areas.

Scranton lost about 400 jobs, the Bloomsburg-Berwick area lost 300, and Williamsport lost 700.

The type of jobs gained were relatively consistent across the state.

The biggest increases have come in professional and business services, education, healthcare, and hospitality.

recent report from the Independent Fiscal Office noted, many of those jobs tend to be lower-paying. 

And while wages are still strong, the IFO also reports they've gone up less than expected.

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