Surveys show different directions for Pa. economy

    Two separate surveys of employment in Pennsylvania last month showed the state’s economy going in different directions.

    The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that May’s unemployment rate dropped as more people reported finding work, although employers reported shrinking payrolls.

    Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent in May, down from April’s 7.6 percent. The number of people working rose by 24,000, the biggest monthly jump since 1983.

    The national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in May, the first time since August it wasn’t below Pennsylvania’s rate.

    Meanwhile, May’s payrolls shrank by about 9,000 to remain just above 5.7 million, about the same number as May 2012. Payrolls hit a record above 5.8 million in 2008, but shrank to below 5.6 million in 2009 amid the recession’s effects.

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