According to numbers released by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, the unemployment rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point in May to 5.6 percent, the lowest rate since September 2008.
The commonwealth’s unemployment rate was seven-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 6.3 percent, which was unchanged from April. The state rate was down 1.9 percentage points from its May 2013 rate of 7.5 percent.
In the past year, nonfarm jobs in the state are up 1 percent, with most growth in private industries, including leisure and hospitality and professional and business services, state data shows.
Total nonfarm jobs increased by 24,700 in May to reach 5,794,900, the highest level since September 2008, state official said. “The majority of the gain was within the private sector, which added 21,700 jobs to reach a record high of 5,078,000 while public sector jobs were up by 3,000. The largest gain was in leisure & hospitality, which reached a record high of 550,000 jobs. Education & health services and professional & business services also both reached record high levels in May,” the state said.