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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate At 6.0 Percent in March


Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for March 2020. The March unemployment and jobs surveys collected data that referenced the week from March 8 – 14 before many necessary coronavirus (COVID-19) - related business and school closures occurred in the second half of the month. 

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was up 1.3 percentage points over the month to 6.0 percent in March. The national rate rose nine-tenths of a point to 4.4 percent. The commonwealth's unemployment rate increased by 1.9 percentage points from March 2019 while the national rate was up six-tenths of a percentage point over the year. 

Pennsylvania's civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – declined by 19,000 over the month from February's record high level. Resident employment was down 104,000 while unemployment rose by 85,000.  

Pennsylvania's total nonfarm jobs were down 40,400 from February's record high to 6,069,200 in March. Jobs were down in 10 of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest volume supersector decline was in leisure & hospitality which fell from a record high level in February. 

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 14,500 with gains in six of the 11 supersectors. The largest volume 12-month change among supersectors was an increase of 12,800 jobs in education & health services.  

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: The March unemployment and jobs surveys reflect the early effects of COVID-19 and mitigation efforts to contain it. 

The high volume of UC claims activity resulting from COVID-19 mitigation efforts had minimal impact on March's unemployment figures due to the fact the key week (March 8 to March 14) referenced by the unemployment figures preceded the initial spike in COVID-19 related UC Claims that occurred during the week ending March 21. 

A breakdown of Pennsylvania's employment statistics follows.


Current Labor Force Statistics
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
    Change fromChange from
 MarchFebruaryMarchFebruary 2020March 2019
Civilian Labor Force6,5396,5586,449-19-0.3%901.4%
Civilian Labor Force162,913164,546162,935-1,633-1.0%-220.0%
Note: April 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released May 22, 2020.


Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change fromChange from
MarchFebruaryMarchFebruary 2020March 2019
Total Nonfarm Jobs6,069.26,109.66,054.7-40.4-0.7%14.5 0.2%
Goods Producing Industries862.2870.6866.8-8.4-1.0%-4.6-0.5%
  Mining & Logging27.527.830.0-0.3-1.1%-2.5-8.3%
  Construction260.6266.2259.6-5.6-2.1% 1.0 0.4%
Service Providing Industries5,207.05,239.05,187.9-32.0-0.6%19.1 0.4%
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,127.51,129.11,125.3-1.6-0.1% 2.2 0.2%
  Financial Activities335.4334.3328.71.1 0.3% 6.7 2.0%
  Professional & Business Services816.6821.4811.7-4.8-0.6% 4.9 0.6%
  Education & Health Services1,304.61,309.21,291.8-4.6-0.4%12.8 1.0%
  Leisure & Hospitality567.1584.0578.6-16.9-2.9%-11.5-2.0%
  Other Services261.1265.4261.1-4.3-1.6% 0.0 0.0%
  Government708.3709.0704.0-0.7-0.1% 4.3 0.6%
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: April 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released May 22, 2020.


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