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PHILADELPHIA AREA JOBLESS RATE UP SLIGHTLY IN DECEMBER

 PHILADELPHIA AREA JOBLESS RATE UP SLIGHTLY IN DECEMBER
 /ADVANCE/ PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philadelphia area's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.3 percentage point in December to 6.7 percent, Department of Labor and Industry analysts announced today.
 December marked the first time in four months that the seasonally adjusted rate increased from the previous month. In December 1990 the rate was 5.2 percent.
 Department analysts noted that the Philadelphia area's jobless rate has been below that of the state for every month since June 1979, and, with one exception, lower than the national average since September 1984.
 In December, total area resident employment was 2.31 million, down 10,500 over the month. The labor force, the combined total of residents employed and unemployed, also declined over the month, by 11,000.
 The number of Philadelphia area residents currently unemployed increased by 5,900 from November to 164,000 in December. One year before, 126,200 area residents unemployed.
 Results from a separate survey of employer payrolls showed that the Philadelphia area's December nonfarm jobs total reached 2.21 million, down by 5,800 from one month ago, and down by 32,500 from one year ago. In the goods-producing sector, jobs declined seasonally since November by 3,000 in construction and 2,800 in manufacturing. In the service- producing sector, the job level remained unchanged from November.
 The nonfarm job count excludes farm workers, the self-employed, domestic workers and unpaid family workers.
 In December, average weekly earnings for production workers in all manufacturing industries in the Philadelphia area were $538.04. The hourly equivalent of this weekly wage is $12.78 an hour, 42 cents an hour above the December 1990 rate.
 The Philadelphia region comprises the city and the surrounding counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery, along with the New Jersey counties of Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester.
 Unemployment rates for the local counties were relatively stable over the month. From November to December, the rates in two counties remained unchanged: Bucks (5.9 percent) and Delaware (5.1). Two counties saw their rates rise by 0.1 percentage point: Chester (4.4) and Montgomery (4.9). Philadelphia county's rate declined over the month from 7.6 to 7.2. The local county rates remained favorable in statewide rankings. Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery were in the top eight with the lowest rates in the state. Philadelphia ranked 24th lowest. Since the local county rates are not seasonally adjusted, the changes could be attributed to a mix of seasonal and economic factors.
 A comparison of Pennsylvania's 15 major labor market areas showed that Philadelphia's December seasonally adjusted rate of 6.7 percent was ranked seventh lowest in the state. The rates ranged from a low of 5.7 percent for the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) to a high of 10.0 percent for the Beaver County Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA).
 PHILADELPHIA PMSA DEC. 1991 (B) NOV. 1991 DEC. 1990
 (Adjusted) (A)
 UNEMPLOYMENT 164,000 159,100 126,200
 RATE 6.7 pct. 6.4 pct. 5.2 pct.
 PA RATE 7.1 pct. 6.7 pct. 5.7 pct.
 U.S. RATE 7.1 pct. 6.8 pct. 6.1 pct.
 PHILADELPHIA PMSA DEC. 1991 (B) NOV. 1991 DEC. 1990
 (Unadjusted)
 LABOR FORCE 2,459,400 2,470,400 2,449,800
 EMPLOYMENT 2,308,200 2,318,700 2,332,400
 UNEMPLOYMENT 151,200 151,700 117,400
 RATE 6.1 pct. 6.1 pct. 4.8 pct.
 PA RATE 6.7 pct. 6.5 pct. 5.5 pct.
 U.S. RATE 6.8 pct. 6.6 pct. 5.9 pct.
 PHILA. PMSA DEC. 1991 (B) NOV. 1991 DEC. 1990
 PA Portion (Unadj.)
 LABOR FORCE 1,917,400 1,932,900 1,913,000
 EMPLOYMENT 1,803,800 1,816,500 1,823,500
 UNEMPLOYMENT 113,600 116,400 89,500
 RATE 5.9 pct. 6.0 pct. 4.7 pct.
 BUCKS CO. RATE 5.9 pct. 5.9 pct. 4.3 pct.
 CHESTER CO. RATE 4.4 pct. 4.3 pct. 3.2 pct.
 DELAWARE CO. RATE 5.1 pct. 5.1 pct. 3.7 pct.
 MONTGOMERY CO. RATE 4.9 pct. 4.8 pct. 3.7 pct.
 PHILA CO/CITY RATE 7.2 pct. 7.6 pct. 6.1 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 December 1991 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- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: Ed Murray, labor market analyst, Philadelphia region, of the Department of Labor and Industry, 717-787-7530/ CO: Department of Labor and Industry ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ECO


MK -- PH035 -- 7919 02/06/92 16:52 EST
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