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Lehigh Valley's Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Level Since 2001 | WDIY Local News

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Scott Graham

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry said last week that the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area went down by 0.1 percentage point over the month, to 3.9% in November.

According to a department release, this is the lowest unemployment rate since May 2001, which was also 3.9%. The MSA’s rate also declined 1.6 percentage points from November 2021.

The statistical area includes Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Warren County in New Jersey.

According to the data, total nonfarm jobs in the area decreased by 0.1% percent over the month to 390,300 in November, while over the year jobs rose by 2.8% in the MSA, compared to a 3.2% increase statewide.

The department said the largest gain in employment was in in the trade, transportation & utilities supersector, which increased by 1,500 jobs, while the single declining supersector was leisure & hospitality, down by 2,000 jobs.

L&I said both movements were seasonal in nature, and that the remaining supersectors were either unchanged or showed modest growth from October.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate stayed at 4.0%, down 1.5 points from a year before. The national rate also stayed unchanged at 3.7%, down half a percent over the year.

Earlier in December, L&I Secretary Jennifer Berrier said that a historically low unemployment rate for two months in a row meant workers in Pennsylvania could be selective in their job search, but added that “the flipside of a low unemployment rate is scarcity of skilled workers for some industries.”

(Original air-date: 1/2/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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