Pennsylvania’s December jobless rate rises, payrolls shrink

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose in December for the fourth straight month, as payrolls shrank and the labor force hit another record high.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.5%, resetting to where it was two years ago after hitting a four-decade low of 3.8% last year.

The national unemployment rate was 3.5% in December.

A survey of households found Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force rose by 18,000, rising higher above 6.5 million to a record high, as employment and unemployment each rose.

However, a separate survey of employers showed seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls dropped by almost 10,000 in December, but still remained above 6 million.

The professional and business services sector saw the biggest losses.