Pa. jobless rate rises again, level with US rate

    Pennsylvania’s jobless rate rose again in August, pulling even with the national rate for the first time since 2006.

    The state Department of Labor and Industry said Thursday that the unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent from 7.9 percent, as hiring remained on a year-long plateau.

    August’s jump in the jobless rate is the third straight monthly increase after dropping back from the recessionary peak of 8.7 percent in 2010. Since 2006, the state’s unemployment rate has been below the national unemployment rate.

    The department says nonfarm payrolls also shrank by about 1,200 in August.

    The state estimates that the number of jobs in Pennsylvania is slightly over 5.7 million. That’s almost the same number as in October 2011 and fewer than in 2005.

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