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PITTSBURGH AREA JOBLESS RATE INCREASES IN FEBRUARY

 PITTSBURGH AREA JOBLESS RATE INCREASES IN FEBRUARY
 /ADVANCE/ PITTSBURGH, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pittsburgh area's


seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage point in February to 6.6 percent, analysts with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported today.
 Despite four consecutive months of increases, the four-county Pittsburgh Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area's jobless rate remained well below Pennsylvania's average of 7.6 percent and the national average of 7.3 percent, seasonally adjusted.
 February was the 30th consecutive month that Pittsburgh's unemployment rate has been lower than the state average and the 40th consecutive month that it has been below the national average.
 Normal seasonal layoffs in retail trade and construction helped to push the unadjusted unemployment rate up from 7.2 percent in January to 7.8 percent in February.
 The number of unemployed workers increased by 5,800 to 79,100 in February. Seasonal factors account for 2,500 of those who lost their job.
 The February seasonally adjusted unemployment level of 67,600 persons, or 6.6 percent of the labor force, was significantly higher than in February 1991, when the jobless rate was 5.8 percent and 58,400 jobseekers were out of work.
 Much of the rise in February's unemployment rate resulted from an increase of 4,600 in the civilian labor force, rather than from a large decline in employment, which dropped by only 1,200. The labor force in February 1992 exceeded the level of a year earlier by 24,600.
 Total jobs increased by 300 in February to 894,000, only 400 more than in February 1991.
 Construction employment declined by 500 in February to 39,100 jobs, 2,900 more than in February 1991. The relatively small decline in construction jobs can be attributed to the airport project and to unusually mild weather in February.
 Losses totalling 700 jobs were scattered throughout the manufacturing sector in February, bringing total factory employment to 113,700, down 2,700 from a year-ago.
 Retail trade continued to be the source of many recessionary layoffs. The number of jobs dropped by 2,400 in February to 161,100, 1,700 below the February 1991 level. General merchandise stores, apparel stores, and miscellaneous retailers accounted for most of the layoffs.
 Following three consecutive months of job losses, the service industries posted a gain of 700 jobs in February. This was due primarily to an increase of 800 jobs in private education services, as schools returned to their regular schedules after the holidays in December and early January. The service industries employed 2,600 more people in February 1992 than they did a year earlier.
 Like the private schools, employment in the public school system returned to normal levels in February, increasing by 2,900 jobs. Employment in state government, however, was down by 1,900 from a year- ago.
 A nominal loss of 100 jobs in transportation and public utilities was offset by an increase of 200 jobs in finance, insurance, and real estate.
 UNEMPLOYMENT RATES (unadjusted)
 Change From:
 Feb. Jan. Feb. Jan. Feb.
 1992 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Allegheny County 6.6 6.1 5.9 +0.5 +0.7
 Armstrong County 13.4 12.3 12.1 +1.1 +1.3
 Beaver County (unadj.) 13.0 12.5 11.3 +0.5 +1.7
 Beaver County (adj.) 11.1 11.0 9.8 +0.1 +1.3
 Butler County 8.9 8.2 7.9 +0.7 +1.0
 Fayette County 13.3 12.1 11.2 +1.2 +2.1
 Greene County 14.4 12.6 12.1 +1.8 +2.3
 Indiana County 13.8 13.1 11.7 +0.7 +2.1
 Lawrence County 10.1 9.3 8.2 +0.8 +1.9
 Washington County 9.1 8.6 8.2 +0.5 +0.9
 Westmoreland County 9.4 8.9 8.4 +0.5 +1.0
 City of Pittsburgh 6.7 6.2 5.6 +0.5 +1.1
 -0- 4/3/92/0830
 /CONTACT: Bill Ceriani of the Department of Labor & Industry, 412-565-5350/ CO: Department of Labor & Industry; Pennsylvania Governor's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ECO


JS -- PH036 -- 4490 04/02/92 15:22 EST
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Date:Apr 2, 1992
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