April unemployment rates for Washington and Greene counties remained the same over the month.

Washington’s rate was 3.7 percent, Greene’s 4.3, according to seasonally adjusted statistics released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor & Industry. That was the second consecutive month the jobless figure remained steady in those counties.

Unemployment in each county fell significantly since April 2018. Washington’s rate dropped eight-tenths of a point from 4.5 percent, Greene seven-tenths from 5.0.

Washington is one of seven counties in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, where the April rate dropped one-tenth of a point to 3.8 percent – a record (dating to 1976). The MSA figure fell 0.5 percent over the year, as jobs increased by 1.0 percent (8,400 total).

Pennsylvania’s figure likewise dipped one-tenth to 3.8 percent, while the U.S. rate declined two-tenths to 3.6.

Washington’s labor force, according to Labor & Industry, was 106,100 in April, down 600 from the previous month. Employment dropped by 500 (to 102,200). The number of county residents listed as unemployed fell from 4,000 to 3,900.

Greene’s labor force (16,700) and number employed (16,000) each declined by 100 over the month. About 700 were classified as unemployed, the same as the previous three months.

Washington and Beaver tied for the third-lowest countywide rate in the MSA, which also consists of Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Fayette and Westmoreland counties, plus Pittsburgh. Butler County had the lowest unemployment figure in the MSA, 3.2 percent, followed by Allegheny (3.5); Washington and Beaver; Westmoreland (3.8); Armstrong (4.2) and Fayette (4.9).

Fayette’s figure was the same as in March, and was well below the 6.1 mark of April 2018.

Chester (2.6) had the lowest rate among the state’s 67 counties. Forest County (5.5) had the highest.

Statewide, there were 1,191,900 nonfarm jobs last month, a decrease of 2,600 from March. Among supersectors, professional and business services had the largest over-the-month gain (4,500), because of seasonal hiring.

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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