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Pa. unemployment holds steady at 5.6 percent

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Pennsylvania's unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent in June, the lowest rate since September 2008.

The state rate was five-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 6.1 percent, which was down two-tenths of a point from May. The state rate was down 1.9 percentage points from its June 2013 rate of 7.5 percent, the state Department of Labor & Industry said in a news release.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — was down 28,000 in June to 6,403,000 due to declines in both employment and unemployment. Resident employment, down 22,000, was down for the second month in a row following eight consecutive gains, while unemployment, down 6,000, declined for the 11th straight month.

Total nonfarm jobs increased by 1,800 in June to 5,789,700, the highest level since September 2008. The majority of the gain was within the private sector, which added 5,600 jobs for a record high of 5,079,400.

Public-sector jobs declined by 3,800, the release said. The largest gain in June was in trade, transportation and utilities, which added 5,300 jobs, with about half of that gain due to retail trade.

For the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 56,700 (1 percent). The growth was almost entirely within private industries, with the largest gains in education and health services and construction.

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