For Immediate Release
September 19, 2022
Contact: Kirstin Snow, email@example.com
For a new blog analyzing the PA economy using the August numbers, see here.
For KRC’s “State of Working Pennsylvania 2022” report and related resources, go to the SWPA 2022 resource page.
August Numbers Show Steady Job Growth in PA and Lowest Unemployment Rate in More Than 22 Years, Keystone Research Finds
Harrisburg, PA: On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released August job and unemployment numbers for states, revealing that Pennsylvania now has its lowest unemployment rate in more than 22 years.
Pennsylvania gained 4,900 jobs in August, continuing steady job growth over the past six months (98,000 jobs gained) and the last year (202,000 jobs gained).
The Pennsylvania unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.3% in July, while the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 3.7% from 3.5% in August. This is the lowest Pennsylvania unemployment rate since June 2000.
One factor driving down the unemployment rate is the shrinkage in the Pennsylvania labor force since the pre-pandemic peak (in November 2019). In August 2022, the labor force had about 130,000 fewer Pennsylvanians than in November 2019, a drop from 6.58 million to 6.45 million.
“A low unemployment rate gives workers more bargaining power with employers,” said KRC economist and executive director Stephen Herzenberg, “a positive development after more than 40 years of wage stagnation and rising inequality.”
KRC incorporated the August numbers into a blog updating KRC’s analysis of the state of the Pennsylvania economy in “The State of Working Pennsylvania 2022.” This is the first in a series of blogs that will break KRC’s annual pre-Labor Day check-up on the PA economy into digestible, bite-size pieces.