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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate At 3.8 Percent

Total Nonfarm Jobs Hit Record High, Unemployment Rate Remains Lowest Since 1976

Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for May 2019. 

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was unchanged over the month, remaining at the record low set in April of 3.8 percent. State records go back to 1976.  

The national rate, at 3.6 percent, was also unchanged from April. The commonwealth's unemployment rate declined by one-half of a percentage point from May 2018 while the national rate was down two-tenths over the same period. 

A survey of households found that Pennsylvania's civilian labor force, the estimated number of residents working or looking for work, was unchanged from April at 6,471,000. Employment rose by 1,000 to a record high, while unemployment declined 1,000.   

Total nonfarm jobs rose from April to a record high of 6,051,400. May was the sixth consecutive gain, as well as sixth consecutive record high for jobs. Jobs increased over the month in five of the 11 industry supersectors. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 54,900.    

Additional information is available on the L&I website at or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Note: The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Penny Ickes or Theresa Elliott, 717-787-7530 or 

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Editor's Note: A breakdown of Pennsylvania's employment statistics follows.

Current Labor Force Statistics
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
    Change fromChange from
 MayAprilMayApril 2019May 2018
Civilian Labor Force6,4716,4716,40600.0%651.0%
Civilian Labor Force162,646162,470161,6671760.1%9790.6%
Note: June 2019 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released July 19, 2019.


Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change fromChange from
MayAprilMayApril 2019May 2018
Total Nonfarm Jobs6,051.46,051.35,996.50.10.0%54.90.9%
Goods Producing Industries856.8856.9851.0-0.10.0%5.80.7%
  Mining & Logging29.529.528.40.00.0%1.13.9%
Service Providing Industries5,194.65,194.45,
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,128.51,127.31,
  Financial Activities328.9328.1324.50.80.2%4.41.4%
  Professional & Business Services807.4810.6805.5-3.2-0.4%1.90.2%
  Education & Health Services1,294.21,294.91,269.5-0.7-0.1%24.71.9%
  Leisure & Hospitality580.9581.7569.9-0.8-0.1%11.01.9%
  Other Services262.7262.7260.60.00.0%2.10.8%
For a more detailed breakdown of seasonally adjusted jobs data at the sector level, please contact the
Center for Workforce Information & Analysis at 1-877-4WF-DATA, or visit
Note: June 2019 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released July 19, 2019.

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