Pennsylvania Jobless Rate Down, Payrolls Up 29K In July

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to a new post-pandemic low and the labor force shrank in July as payrolls jumped by nearly 29,000, according to state figures released Friday.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to 6.6% from June's adjusted rate, the state Department of Labor and Industry said.

The national rate was 5.4% in July, more than a point below Pennsylvania’s.

The figures come out as the federal government prepares to end supplemental payments of $300 a week to people who lost jobs or self-employment income during the pandemic. The $300 payments last through the week ending Sept. 3.

In a survey of households, the labor force shrank by 16,000 in July, closer to 6.3 million. However, the number of employed grew slightly while the number of unemployed slid by 19,000. The state hit a record-high labor force of almost 6.6 million just before the pandemic hit.

In a separate survey of employers, payrolls in Pennsylvania grew in July by 28,800, to above 5.7 million.

Pennsylvania has regained about 65% of the 1.1 million jobs lost in the pandemic. It hit a record high for payrolls of 6.1 million just before the pandemic hit, according to state figures.

The leisure and hospitality sector led all gainers, adding 16,000 jobs.