Wednesday, June 3, 2009

April Unemployment Rate for Pittsburgh Metro Rises to 7.3%, Up 1/10th Point

HARRISBURG (JUNE 2) – The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) rose one-tenth of a percentage point in April to 7.3 percent.

The rate was below those of Pennsylvania (7.8 percent) and the United States (8.9 percent). The civilian labor force decreased for the third consecutive month due to a drop in resident employment. The unemployment count has been increasing for a full year, and has reached its highest point since October 1986 at 88,900. This has been the longest run of increases in resident unemployment on record (current data set back to 1970). The Pittsburgh MSA’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percentage points above the April 2008 rate.

Among Pennsylvania’s 14 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the Pittsburgh MSA held the sixth lowest unemployment rate. Rates in the Pittsburgh MSA ranged from 6.5 percent in Allegheny County to 9.8 percent in Armstrong County. Allegheny and Beaver counties experienced unemployment rate declines, the first drops in the MSA since September 2008.

In April, the Pittsburgh MSA’s seasonally adjusted jobs count declined 3,200 to 1,123,500. This was the eighth consecutive monthly loss. Over the year, jobs were down 2.4 percent in the Pittsburgh MSA, a smaller percentage drop than Pennsylvania, down 2.8 percent from April 2008.

Industry Detail (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Goods-producing jobs in the Pittsburgh MSA increased 2,500 in April due mostly to a seasonal construction gain. Manufacturers inched down to a record low of 90,900 jobs with both durable and nondurable goods manufacturers at their lowest levels on record (current data set back to 1990). Over the year, goods producers shed 11,600 jobs with losses in construction and manufacturing.

Service-providing jobs increased 5,200, the smallest April gain since 2002. The majority of increases were within leisure & hospitality and professional & business services, both of which showed less April gain than usual. Information dipped 300 to a record low of 19,900 jobs.

Service-providing companies dropped 16,000 jobs from April 2008. This was the largest over-the-year decline on record (current data set back to 1990). Aside from education & health services, all supersectors posted declines from last April.

See the full report from the PA State Department of Labor and Industry here.