Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate Down to 4.6 Percent in May

| June 18, 2022

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) on Friday released its preliminary employment situation report for May 2022.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 4.6 percent in May. The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged over the month, remaining at 3.6 percent. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 2.1 percentage points below its May 2021 level while the national rate was down 2.2 percentage points over the year.

“The jobs report for May reflects the will of Pennsylvanians to reclaim some of what the pandemic has taken from us, as our unemployment rate continues to fall amidst a national rate that remains unchanged this month. The commonwealth continues to see job growth across various industries from education to leisure and hospitality, with some industries currently above their pre-pandemic level job totals,” said L&I Secretary Jennifer Berrier. “This is the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania since it was matched in October 2019, months before the pandemic began.”

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – increased 30,000 over the month. The employment count rose 40,000 (to 6,142,000) while resident unemployment declined 10,000 (to 298,000).

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 6,900 over the month to 5,925,500 in May. Jobs increased from April in nine of the 11 industry supersectors with the largest volume gain in education & health services (+7,400). Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 201,600 with gains in 10 of the 11 supersectors. Leisure & hospitality had the largest 12-month gain, adding 69,900 jobs. Three supersectors – trade, transportation & utilities; information; and professional & business services – were above their pre-pandemic job levels in May 2022.

From April 2020 through May 2022, Pennsylvania has recovered approximately 85% of the jobs that were lost in the first two months of the pandemic period.

Additional information is available on the L&I website at

Note: The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. May data are preliminary and subject to revision.

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