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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate Falls To 5.4 Percent in December


Commonwealth continues to regain lost jobs, bounce back from pandemic

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) today released its preliminary employment situation report for December 2021.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was down three-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 5.4 percent in December. During that same time, the U.S. rate also fell three-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 percent. Over the year, the commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 1.7 percentage points below its December 2020 level and the national rate was down 2.8 points.


Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – decreased 18,000 over the month.

ennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 14,300 over the month to 5,804,600 in December. Jobs increased in eight of the 11 industry supersectors. Trade, transportation & utilities – which increased by 9,400 – made up the largest share of the December gain. The next largest increase was a boost of 3,300 leisure & hospitality jobs. The largest volume drop from November was in professional & business services, down 4,100. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 202,200 with gains in 10 of the 11 supersectors. Leisure & hospitality had the largest 12-month gain, adding back 80,400 jobs. All supersectors remained below their pre-pandemic February 2020 job levels as of December 2021.


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. A breakdown of Pennsylvania's employment statistics follows.


MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Peterson,


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

Current Labor Force Statistics
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)

     Change from  Change from
 DecemberNovemberDecemberNovember 2021December 2020
Civilian Labor Force6,2416,2596,310 -18-0.3% -69 -1.1%
Employment5,9035,8995,862    4
 0.1%   41   0.7%
Unemployment337360448 -23-6.4%-111-24.8%
Rate5.45.77.1-0.3---- -1.7----
Civilian Labor Force162,294162,126160,671  168 0.1% 1,623   1.0%
Employment155,975155,324149,883  651 0.4% 6,092
Rate3.94.26.7-0.3----  -2.8   ----
Note: January 2022 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released on March 11, 2022.

Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)

Change fromChange from
DecemberNovemberDecemberNovember 2021December 2020
Total Nonfarm Jobs5,804.65,790.35,602.414.30.2%202.23.6%
Goods Producing Industries818.6819.5810.9-0.9-0.1%7.7 0.9%
  Mining & Logging21.321.520.8-0.2-0.9%0.5 2.4%
  Manufacturing553.3552.8538.70.50.1%14.6  2.7%
Service Providing Industries4,986.04,970.84,791.515.20.3%194.54.1%
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,125.01,115.61,
  Financial Activities330.6329.8323.70.80.2%6.92.1%
  Professional & Business Services780.4784.5758.1-4.1-0.5%22.32.9%
  Education & Health Services1,246.81,246.61,
  Leisure & Hospitality495.7492.4415.33.30.7%80.419.4%
  Other Services242.4239.6226.72.81.2%15.76.9%
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 2022 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released on March 11, 2022.

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