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.