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Lehigh Valley’s Unemployment Rate Drops; Compares Favorably to National, State Rates

By Colin McEvoy on August 4, 2015

The Lehigh Valley unemployment rate is 5.5 percent for June 2015, down from 6.2 percent a year earlier. Unemployment rates have 16 out of 18 metropolitan areas in the state.

The Lehigh Valley unemployment rate is 5.5 percent for June 2015, down from 6.2 percent a year earlier. Unemployment rates have decreased in 16 out of 18 metropolitan areas in the state.

The Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate has dropped again, keeping well-aligned with both the state and national rates, and comparing favorably to other Pennsylvania metropolitan areas.

The Lehigh Valley unemployment rate is 5.5 percent for June 2015, according to preliminary state data, down from 5.6 percent the previous month and from 6.2 percent in June 2014.

The national and state unemployment rates are also 5.5 percent this month. Pennsylvania’s rate has dropped from 6 percent in June 2014, while the national rate has dropped from 6.3 percent a year ago.

“Jobs in the region are on the rise and the Lehigh Valley’s economic base is very diversified and multi-faceted, with a balance in many different sectors rather than depending on one anchor industry,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO. “This results in a healthier and more vibrant regional economy.”

Pennsylvania unemployment rates are lower in June 2015 than a year earlier in 16 out of 18 major metropolitan areas in the state, and were unchanged in two metros (Altoona’s 5.6 percent and Williamsport’s 6.1 percent).

The Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate is lower than several of the other regions, including Philadelphia (5.6 percent), Scranton (6.3 percent), Erie (5.7 percent), and East Stroudsburg (6.6 percent).

Nationally, unemployment rates are lower than a year earlier in 351 out of 387 metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rates are higher in 28 metros and unchanged in eight.

Also nationwide, six areas had jobless rates of less than 3 percent (2.6 percent in Lincoln, Neb., and 2.8 percent in Yuma, Ariz.), and five regions had at least 10 percent, according to the state.

Nonfarm payroll employment has increased over the year in 317 metros, decreased in 61, and was unchanged in nine, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers used by the state are not seasonally-adjusted.

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$43.3 Billion

2020 Gross Domestic Product

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

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Lehigh Valley Health Network
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$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

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$66,865

Median Household Income

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676,700

Population

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347,612

Labor Force

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26.6% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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5,073

Technology Patents

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14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

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$7.1 Billion

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69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

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10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

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St. Lukes University Health Network
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82,270 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

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