Lehigh Valley

Allentown Bethlehem Easton unemployment rate at 5.2% in May

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The unemployment rate in our area rose slightly in May.

According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.2 percent in May.

The state rate was at 5.0 percent, an increase of one-tenth of a point over the month, while the U.S. rate declined by one-tenth of a point to 4.3 percent, according to the department. 

The release stated that over the year, the MSA’s rate  decreased one-tenth of a percentage point, the state rate fell one-half of a point, and the national rate declined four-tenths of a point. The A-B-E MSA’s rate was the 11th lowest among Pennsylvania’s 18 MSAs in May. Rates ranged from 3.9 percent in the Gettysburg MSA to 6.4 percent in the Johnstown MSA, according to the department.

The A-B-E MSA’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in May declined 800 to 362,600. Over the year, jobs in the MSA were down 0.2 percent (-900), while jobs in the state overall were up 0.9 percent. Detailed industry data for the MSA is not seasonally adjusted, the release detailed.

The release stated, over the month, mining, logging, & construction and leisure & hospitality all experienced seasonal increases. A few supersectors showed significant employment changes over the year, both positive and negative. The largest gain since May 2016 was in trade, transportation, & utilities, up 3,500 jobs, while professional & business services saw the largest drop, down 4,600 jobs, according to the department. 

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