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Pennsylvania Unemployment Rate Drops to lowest since the year 2000

Pennsylvania Unemployment Rate Drops to lowest since the year 2000

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to 4% in February.

On March 22nd the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for February 2019. 

The report details the estimated number of Pennsylvania residents working or looking for work, known as the civilian labor force, was up 8,000 over the month. The number of employed Pennsylvanians rose by 15,000 to a record high of 6,209,000. The number of unemployed residents was down 5,000 from January to its lowest level since October 2000.

 (in thousands)FebruaryJanuaryFebruary
 201920192018
PA   
Civilian Labor Force6,4696,4616,401
Employment6,2096,1946,112
Unemployment261266289
Rate4.04.14.5
    
U.S.   
Civilian Labor Force163,184163,229161,900
Employment156,949156,694155,213
Unemployment6,2356,5356,687
Rate3.84.04.1

Key Takeaways from the Report

In January, Pennsylvania reached a record high in total jobs of 6,037,800

  • Lowest unemployment since October 2000
  • Service providing industries rose record high.
  • The largest gain was in trade, transportation & utilities
  • Leisure & hospitality Jobs Rose to a record High.

An updated report will be released in April 2019, until then additional information can be found here.

Low Unemployment, Businesses Struggle

“It’s getting increasingly difficult to find individuals who want to work and learn in my manufacturing plant.” A York Business owner said. “We’re located in Emigsville and we’ve instituted bonuses, and have given out raises. The bare minimum you’ll get paid here is $15/hr. Still it proves difficult to find workers as business continues to grow.”

Business are doing anything they can to attract workers. Some even geolocate their business to attract workers who’ve lost their drivers license. Some have removed their drug testing policies

“It’s proving difficult to find workers, but we have the unique advantage that we are located in York City. about 20% of our workers walk to work in the morning.”

During our phone conversation with local business we’ve even found a few that have turned to outsourcing and automating administrative and office tasks.

There is danger in low unemployment. If the unemployment stays low the labor market could reach a point where the cost of employing a person exceeds the benefit provided by that job. The impact is already being felt by low income jobs positions across York.

“I can’t find anyone to work the dishwasher” We spoke to a Restaurant owner in York. “I used to find people that would be happy to work in the dish pit, but now I can’t find anyone, they don’t show up, and the quality of the worker has dropped.”

The quality of the worker hasn’t dropped, the quality of worker for that wage has dropped.

If a person want’s to work, they can likely find employment in York County.

About The Author

Ian Montgomery

Thanks for reading my article here at Susquehanna Signal. I'm excited to write and share stories about my community and the Susquehanna Valley. I live in Red Lion with my wife, Kadee and work full-time in York County. My goal with this site is to publish local news and community stories on a clean, fast, and content driven website.

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