Unemployment rises, but Pennsylvania payrolls hit new record

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose again in January, as the pool of job-seekers and payrolls both grew to record highs, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate ticked upward by one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.7% in January, the department said.

The national rate was 3.6% in January. The gap between Pennsylvania’s rate and the national rate hasn’t been wider since 2011.

The department had initially said Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 4.5% in December, but that was adjusted upward to 4.6% as part of an annual revision.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate last year hit a nearly two-decade low of 4.1%.

A separate survey of households found Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force grew by 11,000 to a new record above 6.5 million. Employment rose by 7,000 while unemployment rose by 4,000.

A separate survey of employers showed seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls rose by 13,500 in January to a record of almost 6.1 million. Construction grew the most of any sector, followed by the trade, transportation and utilities sector and professional and business services.

Friday’s figures are preliminary and could change.