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PHILADELPHIA AREA JOBLESS RATE FALLS IN MARCH

 PHILADELPHIA AREA JOBLESS RATE FALLS IN MARCH
 /ADVANCE/ PHILADELPHIA, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philadelphia


area's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in March to 6.8 percent, down from 7.2 percent in February, but above the 6.5 percent rate recorded in March a year ago, Department of Labor and Industry analysts announced today.
 Other related developments for the area:
 -- A significant decline in the size of the labor force was the major factor that pushed the unemployment rate lower over the month.
 -- Employment was down slightly over the month (by 0.2 percent), but the volume of unemployment, not seasonally adjusted, was down significantly (by 9.9 percent).
 -- The area's jobless rate has been below the state's rate since June 1979. With one exception, it has been below the national average since September 1984.
 -- Payroll employment (figures derived from a separate survey based upon employer payrolls, rather than resident employment) recorded a modest gain over the month. Industries with job gains included: construction, food manufacturing, hotels, recreation services, health services and social services.
 -- Wages for production workers in area factories improved over the month and over the year. Average weekly earnings in March were $521.56. This is equivalent to $12.91 an hour, or $1 an hour above the March 1991 rate.
 -- The unemployment rates for the individual counties in the area all showed improvement over the month.
 PHILADELPHIA PMSA MAR. 1992 (B) FEB. 1992 MAR. 1991
 (Adjusted) (A)
 UNEMPLOYMENT 165,600 176,700 155,200
 RATE 6.8 pct. 7.2 pct. 6.5 pct.
 PA RATE 7.2 pct. 7.6 pct. 7.1 pct.
 U.S. RATE 7.3 pct. 7.3 pct. 6.7 pct.
 PHILADELPHIA PMSA MAR. 1992 (B) FEB. 1992 MAR. 1991
 (Unadjusted)
 LABOR FORCE 2,420,700 2,443,700 2,394,900
 EMPLOYMENT 2,250,700 2,255,000 2,234,800
 UNEMPLOYMENT 170,000 188,700 160,200
 RATE 7.0 pct. 7.7 pct. 6.7 pct.
 PA RATE 7.6 pct. 8.6 pct. 7.6 pct.
 U.S. RATE 7.7 pct. 8.1 pct. 7.1 pct.
 PHILA. PMSA MAR. 1992 (B) FEB. 1992 MAR. 1991
 PA Portion (Unadj.)
 LABOR FORCE 1,876,000 1,901,800 1,859,900
 EMPLOYMENT 1,746,400 1,756,300 1,735,900
 UNEMPLOYMENT 129,600 145,500 124,100
 RATE 6.9 pct. 7.7 pct. 6.7 pct.
 BUCKS CO. RATE 7.3 pct. 8.4 pct. 7.5 pct.
 CHESTER CO. RATE 5.2 pct. 6.0 pct. 4.8 pct.
 DELAWARE CO. RATE 5.9 pct. 6.7 pct. 5.4 pct.
 MONTGOMERY CO. RATE 5.9 pct. 6.5 pct. 5.3 pct.
 PHILA CO/CITY RATE 8.1 pct. 8.8 pct. 8.0 pct.
 (A) Seasonally adjusted figures attempt to "filter out" the labor market fluctuations caused by normal seasonal patterns. With these recurring patterns removed, the data provide a more accurate account of general economic trends.
 (B) Data for current month are preliminary and are subject to revision.
 For additional information on the March 1992 employment data for any specific area, contact the appropriate L&I regional labor market analyst, whose name and phone number are available from the nearest state Job Service Offices located in Job Centers throughout the area or from the Labor and Industry Press Office, 717-787-7530.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/8/92/0001
 /CONTACT: Ed Murray of the Department of Labor & Industry, 215-560-1977/ CO: Department of Labor & Industry ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


JS -- PH046 -- 7855 05/07/92 17:26 EDT
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Date:May 7, 1992
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