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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate At 13.1 Percent in May


Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for May 2020. The May unemployment and jobs surveys collected data that referenced the week from May 10 – 16 prior to many counties moving to the yellow phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was down 3.0 percentage points over the month to 13.1 percent in May. The national rate fell 1.4 percentage points from May to 13.3 percent. The commonwealth's unemployment rate increased by 8.9 percentage points from May 2019 while the national rate was up 9.7 points over the year.

Pennsylvania's civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 23,000 over the month. Resident employment was up 211,000 while unemployment declined by 188,000.

Pennsylvania's total nonfarm jobs were up 198,300 over the month to 5,191,400 in May. May's gain was the largest single-month increase on record. Jobs increased in 9 of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest volume gain was an increase of 77,400 in construction, which recovered over two-thirds of its March and April losses.

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were down 863,800 with declines in each of the 11 supersectors. The largest volume 12-month change among supersectors was a decline of 300,100 jobs in leisure & hospitality.

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 May unemployment and jobs surveys reflect the continued effects of COVID-19 and mitigation efforts to contain it.

A breakdown of Pennsylvania's employment statistics follows.

Current Labor Force Statistics

Seasonally Adjusted

(in thousands)

    Change fromChange from
 MayAprilMayApril 2020May 2019
Civilian Labor Force6,4706,4476,454230.4%160.2%
Civilian Labor Force158,227156,481162,7821,7461.1%-4,555-2.8%


Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment

Seasonally Adjusted

(in thousands)

Change fromChange from
MayAprilMayApril 2020May 2019
Total Nonfarm Jobs5,191.44,993.16,055.2198.34.0%-863.8-14.3%
Goods Producing Industries786.6684.3866.1102.314.9%-79.5-9.2%
Mining & Logging25.325.
Service Providing Industries4,404.84,308.85,
Trade, Transportation & Utilities971.3940.51,123.730.83.3%-152.4-13.6%
Financial Activities327.7326.5329.41.20.4%-1.7-0.5%
Professional & Business Services735.9732.3814.53.60.5%-78.6-9.7%
Education & Health Services1,153.51,132.61,292.820.91.8%-139.3-10.8%
Leisure & Hospitality276.1237.5576.238.616.3%-300.1-52.1%
Other Services184.8174.5261.710.35.9%-76.9-29.4%


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 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released July 17, 2020.

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