Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate at 4.3 Percent in January

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released its preliminary employment situation report for January 2023.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was unchanged over the month at 4.3% in January. The U.S. unemployment rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point from December to 3.4%. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 0.2 percentage points below its January 2022 level and the national rate was down 0.6 percentage points over the year.

At the start of each year, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses additional or revised information to adjust prior years’ monthly sample-based estimates. Additionally, seasonal adjustment factors for historical labor force and nonfarm jobs data are updated. That process for Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force and nonfarm jobs data through 2022 has been completed and is reflected in the analysis of January’s preliminary data.

“The January data shows stability in Pennsylvania’s economy. Throughout 2022 and into January of this year, the unemployment rate remained steady between 4.3 and 4.4 percent and jobs are near record high levels,” L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker said.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 11,000 over the month. The employment count rose by 11,000 and resident unemployment was unchanged from December.

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 14,800 over the month to 6,085,800 in January. Jobs increased from December in six of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest gain was in education & health services (+8,000), while trade, transportation & utilities jobs rose to a record high level. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 190,200 with gains in all 11 supersectors.

As of January 2023, total nonfarm jobs were only 2,100 below the February 2020 record high. Four supersectors – trade, transportation & utilities; information; financial activities; and professional & business services – were above their pre-pandemic job levels in January 2023.