The Department of Labor & Industry reported Friday Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point in March to 5.3 percent.
Pennsylvania’s rate was two-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 5.5 percent, which was unchanged from February. The Commonwealth’s rate was down by 0.8 percentage points from March 2014 while the national rate declined by 1.1 points over the year.
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force increased by 2,000 to 6,375,000 in March. Resident employment was down 5,000 while unemployment was up 7,000.
Total nonfarm jobs declined by 12,700 in March to 5,819,300. The private and public sectors both declined from February, down 11,900 and 800, respectively. The largest decrease was in education & health services, which fell 6,300 below February, while construction showed the biggest gain, up 2,700.Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 54,700 (+0.9%). The growth was concentrated within private industries, with the largest gains in trade, transportation & utilities, leisure & hospitality, and education & health services. Only two of the eleven supersectors declined from a year ago – information and government.