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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate At 4.5 Percent

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

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 4.5 percent in December. The national rate was unchanged from November at 3.5 percent. The commonwealth's unemployment rate increased by three-tenths of a percentage point from December 2018 while the national rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point over the year. 

Pennsylvania's civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 18,000 over the month to 6,552,000, the third consecutive record high. December was the fifth consecutive month in which employment and unemployment both increased, signaling that Pennsylvanians have been entering the workforce. 

The estimated number of jobs in Pennsylvania, referred to as total nonfarm jobs, declined 9,700 from November's record high to 6,063,400 in December. Jobs were up in five of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest supersector movement from November was a drop of 5,900 professional & business services jobs. Education & health services, up 700 over the month, had the largest gain from November and reached a new record high. Although no other supersectors were at record high levels in December, three others set new record high levels earlier in 2019. 

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 32,700 with gains in seven of the 11 supersectors. All three goods-producing supersectors declined from last December, while only one service-providing supersector was down. The largest volume 12-month change among supersectors was an increase of 13,300 professional & business services jobs.  

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

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
 DecemberNovemberDecemberNovember 2019December 2018
Civilian Labor Force6,5526,5346,45018 0.3%1021.6%
Employment6,2596,2526,1807 0.1% 791.3%
Unemployment29328227111 3.9% 22 8.1%
Rate4. 0.3----
Civilian Labor Force164,556164,347163,111209 0.1%1,445 0.9%
Employment158,803158,536156,825267 0.2%1,978 1.3%
Note: January 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released March 6, 2020.


Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change fromChange from
DecemberNovemberDecemberNovember 2019December 2018
Total Nonfarm Jobs6,063.46,073.16,030.7-9.7-0.2%32.7 0.5%
Goods Producing Industries851.1853.6860.2-2.5-0.3%-9.1-1.1%
  Mining & Logging29.229.629.3-0.4-1.4%-0.1-0.3%
Service Providing Industries5,212.35,219.55,170.5-7.2-0.1%41.8 0.8%
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,132.01,133.41,123.9-1.4-0.1% 8.1 0.7%
  Information88.287.884.5 0.4 0.5% 3.7 4.4%
  Financial Activities332.5331.9327.7 0.6 0.2% 4.8 1.5%
  Professional & Business Services817.2823.1803.9-5.9-0.7%13.3 1.7%
  Education & Health Services1,295.01,294.31,292.7 0.7 0.1% 2.3 0.2%
  Leisure & Hospitality577.8577.6576.1 0.2 0.0% 1.7 0.3%
  Other Services260.2262.3260.3-2.1-0.8%-0.1 0.0%
  Government709.4709.1701.4 0.3 0.0% 8.0 1.1%
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: January 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released March 6, 2020.





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