During 'Highest State Unemployment on Record', Nearly 1 in 5 Monroe County Workers Unemployed
HARRISBURG (MAY 22 2020) – For the week ending Saturday, May 16, 14,385 Monroe County residents continued to collect unemployment benefits, according to data made available today by the Pennsylvania Department of labor & Industry. That figure does not include the 1,586 new claims filed by County residents last week.
The combined total of workers receiving unemployment and the new claims amount to 19% of the county workforce. This is down from the week ending May 2, the high-water mark for county unemployed, during which over 18,000 received benefits. The current numbers are more than ten times greater than usual. For the week ending March 7, prior to the stay-at-home orders, 1,586 received benefits in the county.
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was up 9.3 percentage points, to 15.1 percent. in April. The national rate rose 10.3 percentage points from March to 14.7 percent. The commonwealth's unemployment rate increased by 11.0 percentage points from April 2019 while the national rate was up 11.1 points over the year.
During a press briefing this morning, Scott Meckley, the manager of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry's Center for Workforce Information & Analysis Manager, told reporters that April's unemployment figures are the highest on record, including higher than the 2007-2008 so-called "great recession".
Pennsylvania's civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – declined by 91,000 over the month. Resident employment was down 687,000 while unemployment rose by 597,000.
Pennsylvania's total non-farm jobs were down 1,024,100 over the month to 5,014,200 in April. Jobs were down in each of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest volume supersector decline for the second consecutive month was in leisure & hospitality.
Over the year, total non-farm jobs in Pennsylvania were down 1,044,000 with declines in 10 of the 11 supersectors (financial activities was unchanged from last April). The largest volume 12-month change among supersectors was a decline of 347,100 jobs in leisure & hospitality.