Pennsylvania jobless rate falls to latest post-recession low

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate fell below the 5 percent mark for the first time since 2008, dropping by three-tenths of a percentage point in December for the third straight month.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that the seasonally adjusted rate in December was 4.8 percent, Pennsylvania’s post-recession low. That’s down from 5.1 percent in November and 5.7 percent in September.

The U.S. rate is currently 5.6 percent.

In a survey of households, the department estimates that the labor force, or the number of people working or looking for work, fell by 1,000 to remain below its 2012 peak. Employment rose by 13,000, climbing closer to 6.1 million, while unemployment fell by 14,000 to 309,000.

A separate survey of employers found non-farm payrolls grew by about 8,000. At just above 5.8 million, payrolls remain below pre-recession levels.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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