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17-246-PHI
Thursday, February 16, 2017

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Unemployment in the Philadelphia Area by County – December 2016

Unemployment Rates in Six Area Counties Decreased Over the Year

In December, Chester County, Pa., had the lowest unemployment rate in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Metropolitan Statistical Area at 3.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that at 5.9 percent, Philadelphia County, Pa., had the highest unemployment rate among the 11 counties that make up the metropolitan area. Salem, N.J., had the second highest jobless rate in the area, while the third highest was in Camden County, N.J., which matched the U.S. average rate of 4.5 percent. The rates for the remaining seven area counties ranged from 4.4 percent in Cecil County, Pa., to 3.6 percent in the counties of Montgomery, Pa.; Burlington, N.J.; and New Castle, Del. (See chart 1 and chart 2. The Technical Note at the end of this release contains the metropolitan area definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

From December 2015 to December 2016, 6 of the 11 counties in the Philadelphia metropolitan area had unemployment rate decreases which matched or exceeded the national rate decline of 0.3 percentage point. The largest over-the-year rate decrease was in Cecil, Md. (-0.9 percentage point). Five counties had jobless rate increases led by Delaware, Pa.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Bucks, Pa. (0.7 point each). (See table A.)

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Metropolitan Statistical Area, and its components, not seasonally adjusted

Area
 
Back
data
Unemployment rates
 
Change from
 
Dec
2014
Dec
2015
Dec
2016(1)
Dec 2014
to
Dec 2016(1)
Dec 2015
to
Dec 2016(1)

United States

Go to web page with historical data for series LNU04000000
5.4 4.8 4.5 -0.9 -0.3

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Metropolitan Statistical Area

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUMT423798000000003
5.2 4.1 4.4 -0.8 0.3

Philadelphia, Pa. Metropolitan Division

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUDV423796400000003
6.0 4.7 5.4 -0.6 0.7

Delaware County, Pa.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN420450000000003
4.5 3.5 4.2 -0.3 0.7

Philadelphia County, Pa.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN421010000000003
6.7 5.2 5.9 -0.8 0.7

Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, Pa. Metropolitan Division

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUDV423387400000003
3.8 3.1 3.7 -0.1 0.6

Montgomery County, Pa.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN420910000000003
3.8 3.0 3.6 -0.2 0.6

Bucks County, Pa.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN420170000000003
4.3 3.4 4.1 -0.2 0.7

Chester County, Pa.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN420290000000003
3.3 2.8 3.4 0.1 0.6

Camden, N.J. Metropolitan Division

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUDV341580400000003
6.3 4.5 4.1 -2.2 -0.4

Burlington County, N.J.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN340050000000003
5.7 3.9 3.6 -2.1 -0.3

Camden County, N.J.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN340070000000003
6.8 4.9 4.5 -2.3 -0.4

Gloucester County, N.J.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN340150000000003
6.5 4.6 4.2 -2.3 -0.4

Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. Metropolitan Division

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUDV104886400000003
4.8 4.4 3.9 -0.9 -0.5

New Castle County, Del.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN100030000000003
4.2 4.1 3.6 -0.6 -0.5

Cecil County, Md.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240150000000003
5.9 5.3 4.4 -1.5 -0.9

Salem County, N.J.

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN340330000000003
7.9 5.6 5.3 -2.6 -0.3

Footnotes
(1)Data for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Metropolitan Statistical Area and its components are preliminary for the most recent month.
 

Unemployment rates in 10 of the 11 Philadelphia-area counties were lower in December 2016 than in December 2014. Salem County, N.J., had the largest two-year jobless rate decrease at 2.6 percentage points. Four additional counties—Camden, N.J.; Gloucester, N.J.; Burlington, N.J.; and Cecil, Md.—had two-year rate declines that exceeded the nation’s at 0.9 percentage point. Chester, Pa., was the only area county to have a two-year increase, up 0.1 percentage point.

The December 2016 unemployment rates for the four metropolitan divisions in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area were 3.7 percent in the Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, Pa., division; 3.9 percent in the Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J., division; 4.1 percent in the Camden, N.J., division; and 5.4 percent in the Philadelphia, Pa., division. Since December 2015, the Philadelphia and Montgomery divisions had increases of 0.7 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively. The Wilmington division had a decline of 0.5 point and the Camden division had a decline of 0.4 point.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 17, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).


Technical Note

This release presents unemployment rate data for states and counties from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, a federal-state cooperative endeavor. 

Definitions. The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The LAUS program measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis.  The universe for each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over.  Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation. Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed.  The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.

Methods of Estimation. The LAUS program is a hierarchy of non-survey methodologies for indirectly estimating employment and unemployment in states and local areas. Statewide data are produced through a modeling technique that uses estimates of payroll jobs from the Current Employment Statistics survey and unemployment insurance claims counts from the state workforce agencies to mitigate volatility in the direct CPS tabulations of employment and unemployment, respectively. Data for labor market areas, such as metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions, are produced through a building block approach and adjusted proportionally to state model-based totals. Data for counties within labor market areas are produced through a disaggregation technique. A detailed description of the LAUS estimation procedures is available in chapter 4 of the BLS Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch4.pdf.

Annual revisions. Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect adjustments made at the end of each year, usually implemented with January estimates.  The adjusted estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model reestimation. All substate estimates are reestimated and adjusted to add to the revised model-based estimates.

Area definitions.  The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, dated February 28, 2013. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm

The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties in New Jersey; New Castle County in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland.

The Camden, N.J. Metropolitan Division includes Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties in New Jersey.

The Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, Pa. Metropolitan Division includes Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia, Pa. Metropolitan Division includes Delaware and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania.

The Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. Metropolitan Division includes New Castle County in Delaware, Cecil County in Maryland, and Salem County in New Jersey.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017