The unemployment rate for Washington County and Greene County each jumped five-tenths of a percentage point in October.

Washington’s jobless figure rose to 5.0% and Greene’s to 5.4%, according to seasonally adjusted statistics released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor & Industry.

Both rates were higher than the Pennsylvania (4.2) and national (3.6) figures for October. Washington County’s rate has not been below that of the state and/or nation since March, when the county was at 3.7%, Pennsylvania at 3.9% and the U.S. 3.8%.

Both local counties posted a significant bump from October 2018. Washington’s figure was eight-tenths higher, up from 4.2%, while Greene’s increased six-tenths, from 4.8%.

Washington is one of seven counties in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, where the rate remained at 4.1%.

Washington’s labor force, according to Labor & Industry, was 108,200, an increase of 600 from September. Employment rose by 100 over the month, to 102,800 from 102,700. But the number of residents listed as unemployed jumped by 600, to 5,400.

Greene’s labor force increased by 100 over the month, to 16,800. The number listed as employed (15,900) was unchanged, but the number of unemployed increased by 100, to 900.

At 5.0%, Washington and Beaver tied for the fourth-lowest countywide rate in the MSA (which also includes Pittsburgh). Butler County once more had the lowest figure, 4.3%, followed by Allegheny (4.5) and Westmoreland (4.8). Armstrong (5.6) was sixth and Fayette (6.5) seventh. Unemployment increased by at least five-tenths in each of the seven MSA counties over the month.

Adams and Centre (3.1%) had the lowest jobless rate among the state’s 67 counties. Cameron (8.7%) had the highest.

The Pittsburgh MSA lost 1,600 seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs from September, lowering the total to 1,188,100. That figure was down 2,500 from a year earlier. Statewide, jobs rose 0.5% from October 2018.

Among supersectors in the MSA, educational & health services jobs posted the largest monthly jobs gain (2,600), followed by government (1,700).

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.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. If you have a subscription, please Log In.