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PENNSYLVANIA JOBLESS RATE UP TO 7.6 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY

 PENNSYLVANIA JOBLESS RATE UP TO 7.6 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose sharply in February by 0.5 percentage point to 7.6 percent, analysts with the state Department of Labor and Industry reported today.
 This was the highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of the 1990-92 recession.
 Meanwhile, figures released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor reported the seasonally adjusted national rate to be 7.3 percent in February, up from January's rate of 7.1 percent.
 In February, the state's civilian labor force, the estimated number of Pennsylvania residents working or available for and seeking work, rose by 29,000 to 6.01 million, the second highest level on record. Department analysts said a general feeling that the economy may be on the mend may have brought non-participants back into the labor force hoping to find jobs.
 Meanwhile, employment in the Commonwealth fell slightly in January to 5.55 million, while the volume of unemployment climbed considerably by 35,000 to 457,000, again the highest level of the current recession.
 One year ago, Pennsylvania's civilian labor force totaled 5.91 million. Of this total, 5.52 million residents were employed and 389,000 were out of work and seeking jobs. The February 1991 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.
 Early results from a different survey, one based upon employer payrolls rather than households, show total nonagricultural wage and salary jobs were up 19,000 over the month to 4.98 million in February. In a typical year, job levels normally climb by 7,700 from January to February.
 Throughout the service-producing sector, job levels increased by 25,000 since January to 3.83 million. Job declines in retail trade of 10,800 only partially offset large job gains in services (17,300) and government (16,300).
 In contrast, nearly all industries in the goods-producing sector shared in the 5,900 job drop to 1.15 million in February. Only nondurable goods industries, up 1,400 since January, increased their payrolls.
 On a year-to-year comparison, net job losses of about 17,000 in service-producing and 32,000 in goods-producing industries combined for a total nonagricultural wage and salary job decline of 49,500.
 PA (SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)(A) FEB. 1992 JAN. 1992 FEB. 1991
 Labor Force 6,007,000 5,978,000 5,910,000
 Employment 5,550,000 5,556,000 5,521,000
 Unemployment 457,000 422,000 389,000
 Rate 7.6 pct. 7.1 pct. 6.6 pct.
 (U.S. Rate) 7.1 pct. 7.1 pct. 6.5 pct.
 PA (UNADJUSTED) FEB. 1992 JAN. 1992 FEB. 1991
 Labor Force 5,977,000 5,935,000 5,876,000
 Employment 5,463,000 5,470,000 5,432,000
 Unemployment 514,000 465,000 443,000
 Rate 8.6 pct. 7.8 pct. 7.5 pct.
 (U.S. Rate) 8.1 pct. 8.0 pct. 7.2 pct.
 (A) Seasonally adjusted figures attempt to "filter out" the labor market fluctuations which are caused by normal seasonal patterns. With these recurring patterns removed, the data provide a more accurate account of general economic trends.
 For additional information on the February Pennsylvania employment data, contact the Labor and Industry Press Office. Local and regional information for January is available from Labor and Industry's regional labor market analysts. Regional analysts' names and phone numbers may be obtained from the nearest state Job Center or from the L&I Press Office, 717-787-7530.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/6/92
 /CONTACT: Jack McGettigan of the Department of Labor & Industry, 717-787-7530/ CO: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MP -- PH003 -- 5740 03/06/92 09:06 EST
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