Northeastern Pa. Jobless Rate Falls

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA – Following a recent pattern, the unemployment rate in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market fell in May, but so did the number of people with jobs.

The 7.2 percent rate was down one-tenth of 1 percent from April and 1.9 percentage points from the May 2013 rate of 9.1 percent, the state Department of Labor and Industry said. But the region that includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties maintained the unenviable distinction of having the highest jobless rate in Pennsylvania.

Both the size of the labor force – people working or looking for work – and the number of people with jobs fell compared to April and over the year. So, while 6,100 fewer people were reported as unemployed than last May, some of them may have given up looking for work.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/business/1509561/Northeastern-Pa.-jobless-rate-falls

Poll: Those In NEPA Among Most Miserable In U.S.

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Lancaster, PA ranked 21st on the list :)  The happiest of any Pennsylvania Metropolitan Area.  Hey now!

People in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area are among the most miserable in the nation, according to a report that ranks the area 177th out of 189 it surveyed to gauge residents’ sense of well-being.

Their continuing economic downslide, bad memories, misperceptions and even a lack of sunlight may play a part in Northeast Pennsylvanians’ gloomy outlook, some local experts say in commenting on the State of American Well-Being, the report released last week by Gallup and Healthways.

The highest-ranked area was Provo-Orem, Utah, and the lowest-ranked was the Huntington, W.Va.-Ashland, Ky. area. More than 178,000 people across the country were interviewed last year, including a sample size of 1,092 from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.

The survey asked people to rate their life evaluation – a combination of current situation evaluation and the anticipated situation in five years – emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and basic access to health care and other necessities.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/poll-those-in-nepa-among-most-miserable-in-u-s-1.1663838

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Lancaster County Jobless Rate Drops Under 6 Percent

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lancaster County‘s unemployment rate fell again in November, dipping to 5.9 percent from October’s 6.1 percent, the state reported Friday.

In declining for the third straight month, the local jobless rate sank to its lowest point since December 2008, when it was 5.6 percent.

The new rate means the county continues to slowly make progress toward its pre-recession level of unemployment.

“It’s taking a lot of time to settle down,” said Bill Sholly, an analyst with the state Department of Labor & Industry.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/939510_Lancaster-County-jobless-rate-drops-under-6-percent.html#ixzz2pRyoxj1x

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Berks County Unemployment Declines

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Berks County‘s unemployment rate decreased to 7.3 percent in November from 7.4 percent in October, the lowest unemployment rate since January 2009, when it was also 7.3 percent, the state Department of Labor and Industry reported Friday.

Berks’ unemployment rate was the eighth-lowest among the state’s 14 metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs.

“For Berks, as an MSA, it did rather well compared to other MSAs,” said Steven Zellers, industry and business analyst at Labor and Industry.

Lebanon and Centre counties had the lowest rates, 5.8 percent, while Scranton/Wilkes-Barre‘s was the highest at 9.1 percent.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20140104/MONEY/301049989#.Usgx5_RDsxI

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Bill Would Promote Products ‘Made In PA’

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG — Would you be more likely to buy a product if it were labeled “Made in Pennsylvania?”

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has introduced a bill to create a “Made in PA” program, complete with a logo and website to encourage consumers to purchase products made close to home.

A similar program, to identify and promote Pennsylvania agricultural products, began in 2004, called the PA Preferred program.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2013/12/16/Bill-would-promote-products-Made-in-PA/stories/201312160060#ixzz2neriTSq7

Feds Investigating McDonald’s Franchise Over Payroll Debit Cards

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Federal investigators are looking into whether a McDonald’s franchise in Luzerne County is breaking any laws by forcing employees to accept paychecks in the form of fee-carrying debit cards.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the franchise owners say the lawsuit’s contention that employees incur fees on all transactions is wrong and there are several ways workers could access their money for free.

Attorney Michael Cefalo of West Pittson recently filed the class action lawsuit in Luzerne County Court on behalf of Natalie Gunshannon, a Dallas Township woman who quit her job at the McDonald’s in Shavertown after the company issued her a debit card as pay and refused to pay her by check or direct deposit.

Days after the suit was filed and appeared nationally in the media, Cefalo said an investigator with the U.S. Department of Labor contacted his law office.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-mcdonalds-lawsuit-feds-20130623,0,517504.story#ixzz2X4dg5GQZ 
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Jobs In Lehigh Valley Hit New Peak

After more than three years of sluggish job growth, the Lehigh Valley has replaced all of the roughly 25,000 jobs wiped out during the country’s worst economic crisis in generations.

The region had 351,400 jobs in April, a new high, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Labor and Industry.  The old record of 350,200 was set in June 2007, just before the Great Recession hit, bringing 2 1/2 years of plant closures and cutbacks that put the local labor market in a tailspin.

The number of jobs in the Valley hit a recessionary low of 324,700 in January 2010 and has since been slowly recovering.

The private sector is driving job growth.  Gains in warehousing, tourism and business services were partially offset by cuts in government and public school jobs.  Warehousing and business services — a broad jobs category that includes bookkeepers, janitors, landscapers and engineers — both hit new highs in April.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-lehigh-valley-jobs-april-20130529,0,2958420.story

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Area Residential Unemployment Up In January

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Residential unemployment in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area increased three-tenths of a percentage point in January to a seasonally-adjusted 9.8 percent, the highest rate of joblessness among the state’s metro areas for 33 consecutive months.

That’s eight-tenths of a percentage point higher for the region than January 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor and Industry.

It’s not as bad as it looks, experts say.

The increase was due to the growing number of people joining or rejoining the labor force and looking for work. The labor force grew faster than the number jobs available during the year.  The number of people working or looking for work grew 10,400 for the trailing 12 months, while the ranks of the employed increases 7,100.  The difference – 3,200 – were counted among the unemployed.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/scranton-wilkes-barre-area-residential-unemployment-up-in-january-1.1460466

Big Changes In Pottstown Codes Office Recommended In Report

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — The long-awaited report on ways to improve Pottstown’s Codes Department was presented to council March 11 and Council President Stephen Toroney promised to implement as many of the changes as possible as quickly as possible, but several of the recommendations likely will cost more money.

Chris Fazio and Rick Miles from the firm of Remington Vernick and Beach presented their findings in a 60-page report that contained 37 separate recommendations for improvements to operations in the codes office.

“There are several areas where improvement is needed,” Fazio told council.

Rather than go through all 37 recommendations, Fazio and Mile reviewed what they called the “top 10.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130317/NEWS01/130319394/big-changes-in-pottstown-codes-office-recommended-in-report#full_story

Lancaster County Jobless Rate Improved Slightly

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The jobless rate in Lancaster County fell in November to 6.6 percent, the state announced Thursday.

By declining from October’s 6.7 percent, the local jobless rate decreased for the first time since April.

“It’s a slow go,” said Bill Sholly, an analyst with the state Department of Labor & Industry.

Sholly explained that employers typically are cautious about rebuilding their work forces after a recession.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/799290_Jobless-rate-here-improved-slightly.html#ixzz2GxQXClVI

Pennsylvania Posts Largest Decline In Unemployment In 30 Years

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of Pennsylvania‘s unemployed decreased by 16,000 in November, the largest decline since 1983 and the second largest decline on record.

The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in November, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the October rate of 8.1 percent, according to a press release from the state Department of Labor and Industry.

This was the lowest rate for Pennsylvania since June.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-pa-november-unemployment-20121227,0,4281837.story

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Jobless Rate Jumps To Nine-Month High

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unemployment in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area shot to a nine-month high in June, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Industry.

The rate hit 9.3 percent, up sixth-tenths of a percentage point from May. It was the region’s highest jobless rate since September, when it was 9.7 percent.

“It’s negative, there’s no question, but it’s not as bad as it sounds,” said Anthony Liuzzo, Ph.D., a business and economics professor at Wilkes University. “It takes the wind out of our sails a little bit when we see numbers like this.”

The region’s unemployment rate remained Pennsylvania’s highest for the 27th consecutive month.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/region-s-jobless-rate-jumps-to-nine-month-high-1.1352249

Lancaster County’s Jobless Rate Edges Up To 6.2 Percent

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lancaster County unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.2 percent in May, the state Department of Labor & Industry reported Monday.

The increase from April’s 6.1 percent was the first uptick in the local jobless rate since August.

Despite edging higher, the Lancaster County jobless rate remained among the best in Pennsylvania.

Of the 14 metropolitan areas in the state, only State College (5.5 percent) and Lebanon (6.1 percent) fared better.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/676707_Lancaster-County-s-jobless-rate-edges-up-to-6-2-percent.html#ixzz1z2IHzaBK

Jobless Rates Fall In Reading, Berks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

February unemployment rates fell in both Reading and Berks County. Reading’s rate fell 0.8 percentage points from a revised 11.7 percent in January, and Berks County’s rate fell 0.3 percentage points from a revised 7.8 percent in January, according to statistics provided today by the state Department of Labor and Industry.

The seasonally adjusted county rate decreased 0.7 percentage points from February 2011.

In the city, the unemployment rate was down from 12 percent a year earlier, or 1.1 percentage points. That rate is not seasonally adjusted.

The decreases to jobless rates are significant for both the county and the city, said Steven Zellers, department industry and business analyst

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=377464

Pennsylvania Jobless Rate Falls In December

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Image via Wikipedia

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the commonwealth’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in December, down from 7.9 percent in November.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was below the U.S. rate of 8.5 percent, and has been below the U.S. rate for 62 consecutive months.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/articles/2012/01/21/news/srv0000016915587.txt