Pa. jobless rate hovering slightly above national average

Pennsylvania added jobs for the fourth time in a row last month, but its unemployment rate is still hovering just above the national average.

The commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in December — an increase of a tenth of a percent over the November numbers.

The monthly figure is still slightly higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 7.8 percent in December.

The state’s jobless rate has been above the national average since September.

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The Department of Labor and Industry reports the number of people entering the workforce is at a record high of roughly 6.5 million, after having seen four consecutive months of record levels. But being in the workforce does not necessarily mean you have a job.

The largest jobs increase from November to December came from the construction industry, which added 4,000 jobs.

Two months ago, the drop in the commonwealth’s unemployment rate was the largest decline since the 1980s.


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