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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.1 Percent in September


Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for September 2020.  

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was down 2.3 percentage points over the month to 8.1 percent in September. The national rate fell 0.5 percentage points from its August level to 7.9 percent. The commonwealth's unemployment rate increased by 3.5 percentage points from September 2019 while the national rate was up 4.4 points over the year.  

Pennsylvania's civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – increased 52,000 over the month as the unemployment count fell by 141,000 while employment rose by 194,000.  

Pennsylvania's total nonfarm jobs were up 19,400 over the month to 5,597,800 in September. Jobs increased in 9 of the 11 industry supersectors from August levels. The largest monthly volume gain was in leisure & hospitality, up 16,100 jobs. 

Over the past five months, Pennsylvania has recovered 54.2% of the total nonfarm jobs lost in March and April. 

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were down 470,800 with declines in 10 of the 11 supersectors. The largest 12-month change among supersectors was a decline of 147,300 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 CONTACT: Sarah DeSantis, 

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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
 SeptemberAugustSeptemberAugust 2020September 2019
Civilian Labor Force6,3656,3136,525520.8%-160-2.5%
Civilian Labor Force160,143160,838164,051-695-0.4%-3,908-2.4%
Note: October 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released November 20, 2020.


Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change fromChange from
SeptemberAugustSeptemberAugust 2020September 2019
Total Nonfarm Jobs5,597.85,578.46,068.619.40.3%-470.8-7.8%
Goods Producing Industries808.5805.3862.33.20.4%-53.8-6.2%
  Mining & Logging24.424.328.20.10.4%-3.8-13.5%
Service Providing Industries4,789.34,773.15,206.316.20.3%-417.0-8.0%
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,048.01,034.31,
  Financial Activities331.9330.8329.41.10.3%2.50.8%
  Professional & Business Services765.7758.5817.97.20.9%-52.2-6.4%
  Education & Health Services1,226.01,235.01,298.0-9.0-0.7%-72.0-5.5%
  Leisure & Hospitality430.3414.2577.616.13.9%-147.3-25.5%
  Other Services230.1227.3262.52.81.2%-32.4-12.3%

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: October 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released November 20, 2020.



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