The unemployment rate in Greene County plummeted four-tenths of a percentage point in June, while Washington county experienced a more modest dip of one-tenth.

Greene’s rate fell from 4.7% in May to 4.3% and Washington’s from 4.0% to 3.9, according to seasonally adjusted statistics released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor & Industry.

The June figure for each county improved tremendously from June 2018, dropping seven-tenths in Greene (from 5.0%) and five-tenths in Washington (from 4.4%).

Pennsylvania’s rate (3.8%) remained the same for a third consecutive month, and the U.S. rate rose one-tenth in June to 3.7%.

Washington is one of seven counties in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, where the June rate also was unchanged at 3.8 percent. That again matches the record low for the MSA, where statistics have been kept since 1976. The jobless figure declined in six of the counties; it remained at 5.2% in Fayette.

Washington’s labor force, according to Labor & Industry, was 106,400 in June, up 200 from April and May. June employment was 102,200, an increase of 200 from May. The number of county residents listed as unemployed dropped from 4,300 to 4,100.

Greene’s labor force (16,600) and number employed (15,900) decreased by 100 from May, while the number of residents listed as unemployed dropped by 100 to 700.

Washington and Westmoreland tied for the fourth-lowest countywide rate in the MSA (which also includes Pittsburgh). Butler County had the lowest figure, 3.3 percent, followed by Allegheny (3.5); Beaver (3.8); Washington and Westmoreland (3.9); Armstrong (4.1) and Fayette (5.2).

Unemployment in June was lower than it was a year earlier in all seven counties.

Chester (2.7) had the lowest rate among the state’s 67 counties. Snyder and Forest (6.2) had the highest.

There were 1,190,100 nonfarm jobs in the MSA last month, 900 lower than in May. Over the year, however, MSA jobs increased 0.7% (7,700). Statewide jobs also rose 0.7%.

The Leisure and Hospitality supersector posted the largest month-over-month increase in jobs (4,400).

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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