The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area held on to jobs in May and June and the unemployment crept up only one-tenth of point to 9 percent, a level last reached in March 1994.
The area was one of only three labor markets in the state that did not lose jobs in that two-month period, according to data released today by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
But when compared to year-earlier data, the area made up of Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties lost 7,700 non-farm jobs.
The seasonally adjusted job total that takes into account typical hiring trends was 253,800 compared to 261,500 in June 2008.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent in June, but the national rate also rose by one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.5 percent.
A separate measure of the resident labor force, people who live in the three-county area but might work elsewhere, showed a bump of 3.1 percentage points in the unemployment rate for the same 12-month period. In June 2008, the rate was 5.9 percent.
In a county comparison Luzerne had the highest rate for June at 9.3 percent, followed by Wyoming at 9.1 percent and Lackawanna at 8.4 percent.
The job picture within the area showed gains in both the goods-producing and the service-providing sectors. Combined they accounted for 255,500 jobs, which are not seasonally adjusted.
Nearly all the categories in the sectors reported gains for the month, including 300 in mining, logging and construction, 300 in trade, transportation and utilities and 300 in leisure and hospitality.
But government and educational and health services recorded losses with the end of the school year in June.
Among the state’s 14 labor markets, the unemployment rates ranged for 5.8 percent in State College to 9.6 percent in Erie. Three markets had higher rates than Scranton/Wilkes-Barre which tied with Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton.