Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pittsburgh MSA Unemployment Rate Ticks Up To 7.4%

HARRISBURG (AUGUST 30) In July, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.4 percent. The local rate was below Pennsylvania’s rate (7.8%) and the United States’ rate (9.1%). The Pittsburgh MSA’s unemployment rate was down five-tenths of a percentage point from July 2010, while Pennsylvania’s rate was down eight-tenths of a percentage point and the national rate was down four-tenths over the same period.
Among the commonwealth’s 14 MSAs, the Pittsburgh MSA had the sixth lowest unemployment rate in July. Within the Pittsburgh MSA, Butler County (6.9%) had the lowest rate and Fayette County (9.4%) had the highest rate. Among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, unemployment rates ranged from 6.1 percent in Centre County to 11.0 percent in Cameron County.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in the Pittsburgh MSA rose 2,900 in July to 1,143,100. July marked the sixth monthly increase in seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in the 2011 calendar year. Statewide jobs also trended positively, adding 8,700 in July to 5,693,200. Jobs in the Pittsburgh MSA were up 14,600 (1.3%) from July 2010, while Pennsylvania’s jobs rose 70,500 (1.3%) from the previous year’s level. 

Goods-producing jobs in the Pittsburgh MSA fell by 100 in July to 152,900. July’s goods-producing decline followed four consecutive months of increases of at least 3,000. Construction continued to show growth (+600), and has now shown positive movements for five consecutive months. Manufacturing accounted for the only goods-producing decline, ending a four-month positive trend. Over the year, goods producers have added 3,800 jobs, with manufacturing (+1,500), mining & logging (+1,200), and construction (+1,100) all showing increases beyond previous year’s levels. 

Service-providing jobs fell 10,900 in July, returning below the one million job mark. Government provided the steepest decline in July, carried by a seasonal job loss in public schools. The local government decline of 11,900 was slightly larger than the previous five-year average decline of 10,300. Trade, transportation, and utilities experienced the second largest over-the-month job decline, down 1,800. This decline was associated with school bus transportation, and was relatively minor compared to the previous five-year average decline. Professional & business services provided the largest July increase, adding 1,700 jobs and matching the supersector record level of 163,200 set in July of 2008. Leisure & hospitality added 600 jobs in July, establishing a new all-time high level of 116,200.

Over the year, five out of the eight service providing supersectors have shown growth. Trade, transportation, & utilities (+4,800), professional & business services (+3,300), and education & health services (+3,000) have provided the greatest over-the-year increases. Conversely, government (-2,700), information (-300), and other services (-100) have experienced declines from the previous year’s levels.

Friday, August 5, 2011

U.S. added 117,000 jobs in July. Not huge but FAR better than many feared! Previous 2 months revised higher as well!

By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. added 117,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.1%, the government said Friday, in a better-than-expected report that appeared to temporarily calm jittery financial markets.

The report will reduce fears that the U.S. is heading toward recession,” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
Yet while employers hired more workers than economists expected, the gain wasn’t big enough to put a dent in disappointing labor-market trends.

The jobless rate has stayed above 8% for 30 straight months, the longest stretch of high unemployment since the Great Depression in the 1930s. What’s more, the drop in the unemployment rate in July stemmed mainly from a decline in the labor force as discouraged job seekers stopped looking for work.

During times of rapid growth, the U.S. typically adds at least 200,000 jobs a month, but much larger increases would be required for months on end to yank the unemployment rate back down to pre-recession levels.

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