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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate Decreases to 3.9 Percent in December, Setting New Record Low


Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) today released its preliminary employment situation report for December 2022.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point over the month to 3.9% in December, setting a new record low. The U.S. unemployment rate was also down one-tenth of a point over the month, falling to 3.5 percent. The commonwealth's unemployment rate was 1.6 percentage points below its December 2021 level and the national rate was down 0.4 percentage points over the year.

"Pennsylvania's new record low unemployment rate of 3.9% is encouraging. Pennsylvanians are reentering the workforce, launching new careers and pursuing jobs that sustain their families. Opportunity abounds today for Pennsylvania workers," said L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker. "We also know that a historically tight labor market presents its own challenges, particularly for employers who need workers with specialized skillsets. L&I's role in providing services to workers and employers is as critical as ever, and we are committed to meeting those challenges and building a Pennsylvania economy that works for everyone."

Pennsylvania's civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 9,000 over the month. The employment count rose by 11,000 and resident unemployment declined by 1,000.

Pennsylvania's total nonfarm jobs were up 17,000 over the month to 6,040,100 in December. Jobs increased from November in 9 of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest gain was in construction (+4,600), while professional & business services jobs rose to a record high level. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 202,500 with gains in 10 of the 11 supersectors.

From April 2020 to December 2022, Pennsylvania recovered approximately 95% of jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic. Four supersectors - trade, transportation & utilities; information; professional & business services; and manufacturing – were above their pre-pandemic job levels in December 2022.

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. December data are preliminary and subject to revision.


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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 2022December 2021
Civilian Labor Force6,4556,4466,36790.1%881.4%
Civilian Labor Force164,966164,527162,4104390.3%2,5561.6%
Note: January 2023 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released on March 10th, 2023.

Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change fromChange from
DecemberNovemberDecemberNovember 2022December 2021
Total Nonfarm Jobs6,040.16,023.15,837.617.00.3%202.53.5%
Goods Producing Industries855.4848.6820.66.80.8%34.84.2%
  Mining & Logging24.324.
Service Providing Industries5,184.75,174.55,
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,168.81,167.91,
  Financial Activities333.5333.4327.30.10.0%6.21.9%
  Professional & Business Services835.7831.8805.83.90.5%29.93.7%
  Education & Health Services1,276.01,273.11,
  Leisure & Hospitality552.1549.6513.02.50.5%39.17.6%
  Other Services250.2250.3245.2-0.10.0%5.02.0%
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 2023 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released on March 10th, 2023.

 Content Editor

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