Economy
9:18 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Pennsylvania Unemployment Down for October

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in October, down from 8.3 percent in September.

It remains lower than the national average of 9 percent. The positive news has some economists cautiously optimistic.

"We don't want to make too much of it, but it's good to see jobs increasing. We also saw the number of people who were unemployed fall. So we saw two pieces of good news: the number of jobs that employers are reporting went up, we also saw the number of people who were reporting they were unemployed fall," said Mark Price, a labor economist with the Keystone Research Center, a non-profit, non-partisan research group.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry says that a separate survey of employers shows that the number of non-farm jobs rose by an estimated 13,800 in October, to nearly 5.7 million. Still, job growth has been stagnant for much of the year.

"Based on the pace of growth so far in the year, we're on track to get back to full employment in eight and a half years. Hopefully that estimate turns out to be wrong. Hopefully we see more job growth like we saw in October, in the months going forward," said Keystone's Price.

The state's post-recession high was 8.8 percent in 2010, and had improved to 7.4 percent in May before it rose for four months.