FILE - A help wanted sign is posted on the side of a road in Warminster, Pa., Thursday, June 2, 2022. The Labor Department reports Thursday, Nov. 17, on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) Unemployment Benefits
FILE - A help wanted sign is posted on the side of a road in Warminster, Pa., Thursday, June 2, 2022. The Labor Department reports Thursday, Nov. 17, on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The Pennsylvania unemployment rate dropped to 4%, down from 5.6% a year ago.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate set a new record low in October.

Down one-tenth of a percentage point over the previous month, the commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 4% in October. The national rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point at 3.7%.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 1.6 percentage points below its October 2021 level and the national rate was down 0.9 percentage points over the year.

“Individually, we work to follow our passions and support our families. Collectively, Pennsylvania workers are the engine of a world-class economy,” Jennifer Berrier, the state’s Labor and Industry secretary, said. “A low unemployment rate is an excellent economic indicator, but our work is far from over.”  

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 2,000 over the month. The employment count rose 8,000 (to 6,193,000) while resident unemployment declined 6,000 (to 258,000).

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 10,400 over the month to 6,009,500 in October, the first time to surpass 6 million jobs since the recovery began. Jobs increased from September in the leisure and hospitality, trade, and transportation and utilities industries. Over the past year, total nonfarm jobs were up 195,200.

From April 2020 to October 2022, Pennsylvania has recovered approximately 92% of jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic.