The Department of Labor & Industry Friday released its employment situation report for February 2014. Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point in February to 6.2 percent.
The Commonwealth’s rate was one-half of a percentage point below the U.S. rate, which in February was up one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.7 percent. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was its lowest since November 2008, when the rate was also 6.2 percent. The state rate was down 1.5 percentage points from its February 2013 rate of 7.7 percent.
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – increased by 15,000 in February to 6,430,000. Resident employment was up 28,000 to 6,032,000, and the number of unemployed residents fell 15,000 to 397,000, its lowest level since October 2008. Pennsylvania’s labor force was down by 59,000 over the year due primarily to a decline in unemployment of 103,000.
Total nonfarm jobs rose by 8,700 in February to 5,766,000. Private sector jobs were up by 7,500 and government jobs rose by 1,200. The largest gains were in trade, transportation & utilities, leisure & hospitality, and professional & business services, which each added more than 3,000 jobs from January. Leisure & hospitality and professional & business services both set new record high levels in February.Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 24,600 (+0.4%). The growth was primarily within private service-providing industries. The largest gains were in leisure & hospitality (+19,300), and professional & business services (+12,300).