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PA’s unemployment rate falls for 7th straight month, beating national average


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate fell for a seventh straight month in November, dipping below the national rate, as payrolls continued to rebound from pandemic-driven shutdowns.

That’s according to state figures released Friday. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 6.6% in November, down eight-tenths of a percentage point.

The national rate was 6.7% in November. In a survey of households, the state’s labor force shrank by an estimated 40,000 in November, closer to 6.3 million.

Payrolls in Pennsylvania grew in November, by a projected 21,000.

Pennsylvania has now regained about 57% of the 1.1 million jobs lost since mid-March, according to state figures.

Note: However, this doesn’t account for any job losses during the indoor dining shutdown in December, since the numbers are calculated for only the past previous month. However, things still look hopeful.


Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for November 2020.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was down 0.8 percentage points over the month to 6.6 percent in November. Pennsylvania’s rate fell below the U.S. rate (6.7 percent in November) for the first time since May 2015. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 2.0 percentage points above its November 2019 level while the national rate was up 3.2 points over the year.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – decreased 40,000 over the month as unemployment declined 55,000 while resident employment was up 15,000.

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 21,000 over the month to 5,637,600 in November, the seventh consecutive monthly gain. Jobs increased in 7 of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest volume gain was in trade, transportation, and utilities, up 10,000 jobs.

Over the past seven months, Pennsylvania has recovered 57.7 percent of the total nonfarm jobs lost in March and April.

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were down 452,600 (-7.4 percent) with declines in each of the 11 supersectors. The largest 12-month change among supersectors was a decline of 139,000 jobs in leisure & hospitality.

Additional information is available on the L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov or by following us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Note: The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. 

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Editor’s Note: A breakdown of Pennsylvania’s employment statistics follows.

Current Labor Force Statistics
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
    Change fromChange from
 NovemberOctoberNovemberOctober 2020November 2019
Civilian Labor Force6,3336,3736,540-40-0.6%-207-3.2%
Civilian Labor Force160,467160,867164,347-400-0.2%-3,880-2.4%
Note: December 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released January 22, 2021.


Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change fromChange from
NovemberOctoberNovemberOctober 2020November 2019
Total Nonfarm Jobs5,637.65,616.66,
Goods Producing Industries815.9810.0862.35.90.7%-46.4-5.4%
  Mining & Logging23.423.628.4-0.2-0.8%-5.0-17.6%
Service Providing Industries4,821.74,806.65,227.915.10.3%-406.2-7.8%
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities1,063.41,053.41,
  Financial Activities330.1330.8330.5-0.7-0.2%-0.4-0.1%
  Professional & Business Services766.5765.0823.71.50.2%-57.2-6.9%
  Education & Health Services1,233.41,232.81,306.10.60.0%-72.7-5.6%
  Leisure & Hospitality444.4438.1583.46.31.4%-139.0-23.8%
  Other Services230.5228.8264.31.70.7%-33.8-12.8%
For a more detailed breakdown of seasonally adjusted jobs data at the sector level, please contact the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis at 1-877-4WF-DATA, or visit www.paworkstats.pa.gov
Note: December 2020 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released January 22, 2021.