Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pittsburgh Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.9% in September

HARRISBURG (NOVEMBER 2) – The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was down three-tenths of a percentage point in September to 7.9 percent. The MSA’s rate was 1.1 percentage points below Pennsylvania’s rate (9.0%). The last time the Pittsburgh MSA rate was that far below the state rate was June 1978. The area rate was also lower than the national rate of 9.6 percent. The Pittsburgh MSA’s unemployment rate matched last September’s rate. This was the first time since November 2007 that the area rate did not show an over-the-year increase.

Unemployment rates decreased from August in six of the seven counties in the Pittsburgh MSA. Butler County posted the lowest rate in the MSA at 7.4 percent while Fayette County held the area’s highest rate at 9.6 percent. Among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, unemployment rates ranged from 6.1 percent in Centre County to 14.3 percent in Cameron County.

In September, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in the Pittsburgh MSA declined 800 to 1,118,100. Jobs fell in nine of Pennsylvania’s 14 MSAs. Over the year, Pittsburgh MSA jobs increased by 4,800 (0.4%) and the state added 34,500 jobs (0.6%).
Goods producers added 800 jobs from last September. Mining & logging was up 500 jobs over the year (9.1%). Manufacturing continued to show an over-the-year decline, but it has been consistently shrinking since last September.
Service-providing jobs were up 9,300 from August. The majority of this increase was due to seasonal education-related gains. Education & health services, state government, and local government all added jobs as the new academic year began. Seasonal declines occurred in retail trade, professional & business services, leisure & hospitality, and other services. The federal government decline of 500 was due mainly to the census nearing completion.

Service providers had 6,200 more jobs than in September 2009. Education & health services and professional & business services experienced the largest over-the-year gains in the area.