Governor Rendell: PA Economy Adds Jobs for Third Consecutive Month, Unemployment Rate Continues to Improve

Dec 16, 2010, 13:11 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

Again Urges Congress to Extend Unemployment Benefits

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's economy is picking up as the overall unemployment rate(1) fell to 8.6 percent in November and the state added 5,100 non-farm jobs(2), Governor Rendell said today.

"This extremely good news is a testament to the decisions we've made to continue investing in crucial economic development, job training and education programs. But even though our economy is improving, many Pennsylvania families are still looking for work and struggling to make ends meet," Governor Rendell said, urging Congress to reauthorize unemployment benefits. "Jobless Americans are at risk of being left out in the cold unless both houses of Congress approve an extension this month."

The Department of Labor & Industry reported today that November unemployment in Pennsylvania was down 13,000, the fourth consecutive monthly decrease. This is the third consecutive monthly increase in non-farm jobs; the job count is up 57,000 from November 2009, including an 8,100 net increase in goods-producing jobs.

"Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point from last month. That's the fourth month in a row the rate dropped, and now it is more than a full percentage point better than the national rate of 9.8 percent," Governor Rendell said. "For 92 of the last 95 months, our unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate.

"While this is good news for Pennsylvanians looking to find jobs, it also puts elected leaders on notice that now is not the time to cut an economic lifeline to millions of Americans and slow the recovery in the process. Unemployment assistance helps families meet basic living expenses; money that is returned almost immediately into local economies."

The Governor noted that unemployment compensation recipients receive an average of $310 per week in benefits. Without congressional reauthorization of federally funded benefits, 140,000 Pennsylvanians will lose their benefits in December.

"Without action by Congress, millions of Americans who lost jobs through no fault of their own will lose their only economic lifeline – also through no fault of their own.

"Throughout the recession, Pennsylvania families have made some hard decisions. And now, as things are starting to look up, they need good leaders in Washington to make some hard decisions, too. It's time to finish the recovery that we started, and to make sure all Americans have the opportunity to be part of that recovery."

Editor's Note: The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry today released "Pennsylvania's Employment Situation November 2010." To receive a copy, call 717-787-7530 or visit

(1) The monthly Unemployment Rate is based on the Current Population Survey (CPS). CPS, also known as "household" survey, data is the primary source of Civilian Labor Force and Employment statistics.  It is a monthly household survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reaching about 2,500 households in Pennsylvania. This survey counts how many people are employed, regardless of how many jobs they are actually working.

(2) The monthly Nonfarm Job Count is based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES), also known as "payroll," survey and is the source of nonfarm jobs data by industry.  It is a monthly survey of employers conducted by L&I's Center for Workforce Information & Analysis in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reaching about 18,000 businesses. This data may include multiple jobs held by a single individual.

Media contacts:

Christopher Manlove, Labor & Industry; 717-787-7530

Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor