Pennsylvania jobless rate drops to lowest rate on record

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped in February to the lowest rate since 1976, which is as far back as the state’s records go.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.0 percent last month.

The national rate was 3.8 percent in February. Among states, Pennsylvania is tied with Michigan and New Jersey for 35th.

A survey of households found Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force grew by 8,000, as employment rose by 15,000 to a new record high above 6.2 million. Unemployment shrank by 5,000 to 261,000, its lowest level since 2000.

A separate survey of employers showed seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls were essentially flat, shrinking by 200 in February.

Friday’s figures are preliminary and could change.

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