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Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate Down To 6.9 Percent in May


Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for May 2021. 

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 6.9 percent in May. The U.S. rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point from April to 5.8 percent. The commonwealth's unemployment rate was 6.6 percentage points below its May 2020 level and the national rate was down 7.5 points over the year. 

Pennsylvania's civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – decreased 6,000 over the month as employment rose 10,000 and unemployment fell 16,000. 

Pennsylvania's total nonfarm jobs were up 18,500 over the month to 5,684,200 in May. Jobs increased in 5 of the 11 industry supersectors with the largest volume gain in education & health services (+12,200). The largest drop was in construction (-3,300) which followed 12 consecutive monthly gains. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 529,200 with gains in 10 of the 11 supersectors. Leisure & hospitality had the largest 12-month gain, adding back 187,200 jobs. All supersectors remained below their February 2020 job levels as of May 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. 

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
 MayAprilMayApril 2021May 2020
Civilian Labor Force6,3156,3216,412-6-0.1%-97-1.5%
Employment5,8815,8715,549100.2% 332  6.0%
Civilian Labor Force160,935160,988158,200-530.0%
  2,735  1.7%
Note: June 2021 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released July 16th, 2021.

Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change fromChange from
MayAprilMayApril 2021May 2020
Total Nonfarm Jobs5,684.25,665.75,
Goods Producing Industries811.8816.7759.0-4.9-0.6%52.8
  Mining & Logging22.
Service Providing Industries4,872.44,849.04,396.023.40.5%476.410.8%
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,093.21,094.1972.4-0.9-0.1%120.812.4%
  Financial Activities325.5325.0321.00.50.2%4.51.4%
  Professional & Business Services765.7764.8729.60.90.1%36.14.9%
  Education & Health Services1,244.21,232.01,172.312.21.0%71.96.1%
  Leisure & Hospitality459.7448.9272.510.82.4%187.268.7%
  Other Services230.5230.8178.0-0.3-0.1%52.529.5%
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 2021 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released July 16th, 2021.

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