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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate At 3.5% in December as Number of Total Nonfarm Jobs Sets New Record High


Contact: Trevor Monk,

Harrisburg, PA  The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) today released its preliminary employment situation report for December 2023.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point over the month to 3.5% in December. The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged from November at 3.7%. The Commonwealth's unemployment rate was eight-tenths of a percentage point below its December 2022 level of 4.3%, while the national rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

Pennsylvania's civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 12,000 over the month due mostly to a gain in resident employment (+12,000).

Pennsylvania's total nonfarm jobs were up 6,200 over the month to a record high of 6,182,700. This was the 11th record high in 2023. Jobs increased from November in five of the 11 industry supersectors with the largest gain in education &health services (+4,800), which rose to a record high. Two other supersectors – construction and financial activities – also rose to record high levels in December.

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 111,700 with gains in nine of the 11 supersectors. Education & health services (+58,400) had the largest volume over-the-year gain among supersectors.

Additional information is available on the L&I website at or by following us on FacebookTwitter, 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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Current Labor Force Statistics
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
    Change fromChange from
 DecemberNovemberDecemberNovember 2023December 2022
Civilian Labor Force6,5286,5166,481120.2%470.7%
Civilian Labor Force167,451168,127164,998-676-0.4%2,4531.5%
Note: January 2024 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released on March 8th, 2024.

Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change fromChange from
DecemberNovemberDecemberNovember 2023December 2022
Total Nonfarm Jobs6,182.76,176.56,
Goods Producing Industries854.9852.1852.12.80.3%2.80.3%
  Mining & Logging23.023.223.1-0.2-0.9%-0.1-0.4%
Service Providing Industries5,327.85,324.45,
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,158.41,159.01,155.7-0.6-0.1%2.70.2%
  Financial Activities343.5342.4337.91.10.3%5.61.7%
  Professional & Business Services865.0866.8857.0-1.8-0.2%8.00.9%
  Education & Health Services1,346.71,341.91,
  Leisure & Hospitality569.7568.4548.31.30.2%21.43.9%
  Other Services259.6261.9255.1-2.3-0.9%4.51.8%
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 2024 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released on March 8th, 2024.

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