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Pennsylvania jobless rate at post-recession low, hiring flat

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania saw its biggest one-month drop in the unemployment rate in four years and a new post-recession low, although payrolls remained relatively flat.

In this file photo, Kinsley Construction superintendant Bill Bergman and employee Jerry McCue, left, use laser measuring to level the floor of the new concession area they were building at the Capitol Theatre Monday, May 14, 2018. The greatest gains in Pennsylvania's May employment report were in construction and trade, transportation and utilities. Bill Kalina photo

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.5 percent in May. The national rate is 3.8 percent.

A survey of households found Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force contracted again, this time by 14,000, falling further below its 2012 record high as employment crept up and unemployment dropped.

A separate survey of employers showed seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls rose by about 2,300 in May, reaching a record high above 6 million.

The biggest gains were in construction and trade, transportation and utilities. Education and health services shrank the most.

Friday’s figures are preliminary and could change.

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