LVEDC Talent Supply: Workforce Participation and Unemployment
By Colin McEvoy on August 31, 2018
Each week, Karianne Gelinas, Director of Talent Supply with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), will provide an update or additional information from its ongoing initiative to identify talent supply and demand issues in the region and create a strategy that results in a broader, ongoing understanding of the Lehigh Valley workforce. (See past updates.)
The nation is entering an era of record unemployment, and the Lehigh Valley is no different.
As of July 2018, the Lehigh Valley has an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, which is lower than the state of Pennsylvania’s reported rate of 4.5 percent at that time.
While considering unemployment is key, it is also important to understand a region’s labor force participation rate. As a nation, labor force participation has declined about 3.2 percent since the end of the recession and made little increase since, totaling a national labor force participation rate of 62.7 percent as of December of 2017.
This means fewer people are in the workforce looking for employment. When looking at trends, the Lehigh Valley boasts a higher labor force participation rate than each Pennsylvania and the United States and that rate is increasing.
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