Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate at 6.0% in March


A notice of closure is posted at The Great Frame Up in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., Thursday, April 2, 2020. The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a stunning collapse in the U.S. workforce with millions of people losing their jobs in the past two weeks and economists warn unemployment could reach levels not seen since the Depression, as the economic damage from the crisis piles up around the world. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for March 2020. The March unemployment and jobs surveys collected data that referenced the week from March 8 – 14 before many necessary coronavirus related business and school closures occurred in the second half of the month. 

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was up 1.3 percentage points over the month to 6.0% in March.

The national rate rose nine-tenths of a point to 4.4%. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate increased by 1.9 percentage points from March 2019 while the national rate was up six-tenths of a percentage point over the year. 

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force says the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – declined by 19,000 over the month from February’s record high level. Resident employment was down 104,000 while unemployment rose by 85,000.  

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were down 40,400 from February’s record high to 6,069,200 in March. Jobs were down in 10 of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest volume supersector decline was in leisure & hospitality which fell from a record high level in February. 

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 14,500 with gains in six of the 11 supersectors. The largest volume 12-month change among supersectors was an increase of 12,800 jobs in education & health services.  

Additional information is available on the L&I website at

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