Region’s jobless rate drops to 5.2 percent
The unemployment rate in the Scranton/ WilkesBarre/Hazleton metropolitan statistical area continues to drop.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell twotenths of a percentage point to 5.2 percent in October, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.
Teri Ooms, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, said the economy has been improving over the last year.
In recent months, the number of unemployed people has dropped and the number of people in the labor force has increased, she said.
“We’ve been seeing good things now for about 12 to 15 months,” Ooms said.
The state and national unemployment rates both declined by one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 and 4.1 percent.
Over the year, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton area’s rate fell 1 full percentage point while the state rate declined by eight-tenths of a point and the U.S. rate decreased by seven-tenths of a point.
The area’ sun employment rate was the 14th lowest among Pennsylvania’s 18 metropolitan statistical areas in October.
Over the year, jobs in the area were up 0.8 percent, 2,200, while overall jobs in the state were up 1.1 percent.
The seasonally adjusted total number of nonf ar m jobs at goods, constructions and manufacturing companies in the area declined 300 to 263,100 in October.
Both public and private educational services were up over the month as local schools, colleges and universities continued staffing for the new school year.
Leisure and hospitality declined as recreational activities and tourism waned.
Professional and business services had the largest decline over the year, down 500 jobs.
Trade, transportation and utilities as well as education and health services experienced strong growth since October 2016, up by 1,300 jobs and 1,100 jobs.
With the increase in online shopping, huge warehouse shave opened throughout Northeast Pennsylvania in recent years, creating thousands of jobs.
Jobs in warehousing, logistics and transportation will continue to drive economic growth, Ooms said.
Because so many companies have been opening warehouses, they are competing for workers and are under pressure to increase wages and offer good benefit packages which is a “win-win for the region ,” she said.
“We’ve been seeing good things now for about 12 to 15 months.” Teri Ooms Director of Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development