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Small unemployment rate changes mixed bag in midstate

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Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in Central Pennsylvania's metropolitan areas changed little in August compared to the same month last year, yet the small changes are a mixed bag for the region, according to statistics released today by the state.

The Harrisburg-Carlisle metro area, which includes Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties, saw its seasonally adjusted unemployment rise to 7.4 percent in August, up just a tenth of a percentage point from a year ago, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry. Unemployment rates not seasonally adjusted remained unchanged from last year.

The number of jobs in the Harrisburg-Carlisle metro area grew by 2,200 since last year, yet the number of people in the labor force grew by 3,500, according to the state. Transportation, warehousing and utilities as well as professional and technical services added jobs, while leisure and hospitality lost jobs.

The Lancaster metro area unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points from a year ago to 6.6 percent in August, according to the state. Unemployment rolls dropped by 300 people, employment rose 7,100 and the total labor force grew by 6,800 to produce the seasonally adjusted rate drop. Manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services all added jobs in August.

The Lebanon metro area also saw a drop in its adjusted unemployment rate from 6.7 percent last year to 6.6 percent in August. The area added 900 jobs, with the same number joining the labor force, yet unemployment rolls remained unchanged from August 2011 at 4,900. The area added a small number of manufacturing and federal government jobs.

The York-Hanover metro area saw its August unemployment rate tick up a tenth of a percentage point to 7.9 percent compared to a year ago. Unemployment grew by 400 while the area added 3,000 jobs and 3,500 workers to its labor force in the same time. Health care and social assistance jobs increased slightly, as did professional and business services. Mining, logging and construction jobs decreased slightly.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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