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Unemployment Rises In Pennsylvania, As Payrolls Grow Too

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Katie Blackley
/
90.5 WESA

 Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose in January, as the labor force shrank but payrolls rebounded, according to state figures released Friday.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 7.3%, up two-tenths of a percentage point from December's adjusted rate, the state Department of Labor and Industry said.

Upward revisions to Pennsylvania's preliminary unemployment rate in December helped put it a whole point above the national rate of 6.3% in January.

In a survey of households, the labor force shrank by an estimated 15,000 in January, falling below 6.3 million. The number of unemployed rose by 7,000 as the number of employed fell by 25,000. The state hit a record high labor force of almost 6.6 million just before the pandemic.

Payrolls in Pennsylvania expanded in January by almost 36,000, remaining above 5.6 million, according to surveys of employers.

Pennsylvania has regained a little over half of the 1.1 million jobs lost in the pandemic. It hit a record high for payrolls of 6.1 million last February, according to state figures.

Payrolls grew the most in professional and business services, education and health services and leisure and hospitality, a category that includes restaurants and bars and remains under stricter pandemic limitations than other businesses after losing more jobs than any other sector in Pennsylvania during the pandemic.