New PA Jobs Report Shows Another Month of a Strong PA Economy

Maisum Murtaza and Stephen Herzenberg |

With the release of April job numbers for Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry this morning, Keystone Research executive director Stephen Herzenberg and policy analyst Maisum Murtaza released the following statement: 

“Pennsylvania’s economy remained strong in April, moving steadily forward like the U.S. economy. Pennsylvania added 13,000 jobs and unemployment dropped again, to 4.1%, the lowest level since at least January 1976. 

Pennsylvania’s private sector job market has now fully recovered from the pandemic. As the chart below shows, private sector employment rebounded to more than its pre-pandemic level in less than three years (34 months) – thanks to fiscal policy at the scale of the COVID downturn. This was less than half the 73 months it took for private sector jobs to fully rebound after the Great Recession. That recovery was slower because Congress insisted on austerity policies – cutting spending – after the 2010 elections. 

At the national level, as shown by the Economic Policy Institute, a bigger share of prime-age workers (aged 25 to 54 years old) were employed in April than before the pandemic, another sign of a health job market. Further, Black unemployment at the national level fell to 4.7%, the lowest level in the 50+ years since this number began being reported monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1972. (We do not have updated monthly data on Pennsylvania prime-age employment rates or on Black unemployment levels.) 

Alongside the full recovery of the job market, the annual (12-month average) inflation rate in the United States fell to 4.9% in April, the lowest level in two years.”