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Pennsylvania jobless rate down slightly, payrolls up in June

July 16, 2021 GMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate and labor force shrank slightly in June as payrolls crept up, according to state figures released Friday.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.9% from May’s adjusted rate, the state Department of Labor and Industry said. May’s initial rate had been 6.9% before being revised upward to 7%.

The national rate was 5.9% in June, a whole point below Pennsylvania’s.

The figures come out as employers are still struggling to find workers to hire, particularly in the hospitality industry.

In a survey of households, the labor force shrank by 2,000 in June, closer to 6.3 million, as the number of employed grew slightly and the number of unemployed slid. The state hit a record-high labor force of almost 6.6 million just before the pandemic hit.

In a separate survey of employers, payrolls in Pennsylvania grew in June by 11,500, almost to 5.7 million.

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Pennsylvania has regained about 60% of the 1.1 million jobs lost in the pandemic. It hit a record high for payrolls of 6.1 million just before the pandemic hit, according to state figures.

The government sector led all gainers, adding 13,500 jobs, while construction led the losers, shedding 4,000 jobs. Education and health services lost just over 2,000.