Despite adding nearly 10,000 new jobs – a new record for job growth in the state – Pennsylvania is still wrestling with an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average, according to data released Friday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
This growth brings the total number of estimated jobs in Pennsylvania to just over 6 million.
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 18,000 over the month before from 6,516,000 to 6,534,000, the agency said in a statement, leaving approximately 500,000 Pennsylvanians without a job.
Because of this deficit in jobs, the state’s unemployment rate climbed slightly by one-tenth of a percentage point in November to 4.3%.
Even so, many counties across the state are experiencing unemployment rates higher than the national average of 3.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Cameron County has the highest unemployment rate in the state at a whopping 8.7 percent – 5.2 percent higher than the national average. Other rural counties range from 4-6 percent.
Urban and suburban counties, such as Chester, Montgomery and Lancaster counties logged unemployment rates in the 3 to 4 percent range.
Pennsylvania ranks 42nd nationally among states by unemployment rate at 4.3 percent, according to the Bureau.
Vermont, with a rate of 2.3 percent; South Carolina, 2.4 percent; Utah, 2.4 percent; North Dakota, 2.5 percent; and Colorado, 2.6 percent; round out the top five, the BLS data showed.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of Pennsylvanians without a job.