Pennsylvania’s labor force had its second-largest monthly decline on record in June while the state’s unemployment rate remained the same, the state Department of Labor and Industry reported Friday.
June’s labor force dropped by 28,000 to 6.4 million in Pennsylvania, continuing a longer-term slide of about 95,000 after it hit its record-high in November 2012.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ online records go back to 1976; Pennsylvania’s labor force dropped by nearly 67,000 in 1983. The labor force is the number of people working or looking for jobs.
The national labor force is down from its peak as well. Economists say that, because of demographics and other trends, people are retiring at a faster rate than young people are joining the labor force, while the long-term unemployed are quitting their job search in frustration.
June’s unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent in June, a nearly six-year low, as the ranks of employed Pennsylvanians declined by 22,000 and the number of unemployed shrank by 6,000.
A separate survey of employers showed that total nonfarm jobs crept up by 1,800, with gains in construction, financial services, and trade transportation and utilities, but losses in manufacturing, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government.
Still, that gain was overshadowed by a downward revision in May’s initial payroll projection by 7,000. Payrolls stand at almost 5.79 million, about 34,000 below the record high in 2008.