The Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent in May for the first time in more than four years, another indication that the labor market continues to slowly recover from steep job losses inflicted during the Great Recession.
The Valley region’s unemployment rate in May was 7.9 percent, down from 8.1 percent in April. It was last below 8 percent in February 2009. The Valley’s unemployment rate remains higher than the state, 7.5 percent, and nation, 7.6 percent.
The number of folks filing new unemployment claims increased by 43,000 in the U.S. during April 2011. Unemployment claims reached 474,000! It was expected that the number of claims would decrease to around 400,000 for April.