HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Unemployment rates in parts of Midstate Pennsylvania dropped to pandemic-era lows in September — the most recent month of data available — according to figures released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Gettysburg’s rate of 3.5%, down from 4.8% in August, was the lowest in all of Pennsylvania. Gettysburg typically has a lower-than-average rate.
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But even the three areas with the highest rates in the Midstate — Harrisburg/Carlisle, York/Hanover, and Lebanon, all at 4.6% — were nearly a point lower than the statewide average of 5.4%.
Here are Midstate area unemployment rates compared with the Pennsylvania and U.S. averages:
|Area||Sept. 2021||Aug. 2021 (previous month)||Sept. 2020 (previous year)|
Federal emergency unemployment benefits ended in September. Conservative economists blamed these for discouraging people from working — and credit their end with pushing some people back onto payrolls. Liberals note that lower unemployment rates are partly a result of a smaller total civilian workforce than before the pandemic; some people have stopped looking for work and no longer count as officially unemployed.
Elsewhere in the commonwealth, areas with the highest September 2021 employment rates were East Stroudsburg (6.9%), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton (6.4%), and Erie (6.0%).
The U.S. rate is seasonally adjusted, whereas the metro area and state rates are not, meaning they are not fully comparable. Additionally, rates can be revised later due to new data.