On Friday the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported that the unemployment rate fell from 5.6% to 5.7% while nonfarm payrolls fell by 9,600 jobs in September.
Those disappointing payroll numbers in September plus revisions for August mean Pennsylvania has shed 3,700 jobs a month in the 3rd quarter of this year. Resident employment drawn from a survey of households performed better in September registering a gain of 11,000 jobs. That’s the first gain in resident employment since April of this year. Still, on average, resident employment in the 3rd quarter fell by 19,700 jobs a month.
Over the last year, weak growth in resident employment of just 16,000 meant that most of the improvement in the unemployment rate has been a result a decline in the labor force which has fallen by 93,000 in the last 12 months.
Exploring the change in payrolls by industry over the month, the weakest sectors were Construction (down 2.1%), Transportation and Utilities (down 1.4%), Wholesale Trade (down 1.1%), and Information (down 1.2%).
Manufacturing had a good month adding 2,700 jobs but remains down by 2,100 over the last year.
All in all, there is nothing to celebrate in the September job numbers for Pennsylvania.