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18-880-PHI
Friday, May 18, 2018

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Unemployment in the Philadelphia Area by County – March 2018

Unemployment Rates in Six Area Counties Decreased Over the Year

In March, Chester County, PA, had the lowest unemployment rate in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area at 3.2 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that at 6.3 percent, Salem County, NJ, had the highest unemployment rate among the 11 counties that make up the metropolitan area. Philadelphia County, PA, had the second-highest jobless rate in the area at 5.8 percent, followed by Cecil County, MD, at 5.2 percent. Two other area counties had jobless rates higher than the 4.1 percent U.S. average. (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 March 2017 to March 2018, 6 of the 11 counties in the Philadelphia metropolitan area had unemployment rate decreases. New Castle County, DE had the largest rate decrease at 0.6 percentage point—the only county to exceed the U.S. jobless rate decrease of 0.5 point over the year. Of the three area counties that had unemployment rate increases since March 2017, Salem NJ had the largest at 0.3 point. Two other counties—Camden and Gloucester, NJ—had no change over the year. (See table A.)

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, and its components, not seasonally adjusted

Area
Back
data
Unemployment rates Change from
Mar
2016
Mar
2017
Mar
2018(1)
Mar 2016
to
Mar 2018(1)
Mar 2017
to
Mar 2018(1)

United States

5.1 4.6 4.1 -1.0 -0.5

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area

5.2 4.7 4.4 -0.8 -0.3

Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division

6.3 5.7 5.3 -1.0 -0.4

Delaware County, PA

4.9 4.5 4.1 -0.8 -0.4

Philadelphia County, PA

6.8 6.2 5.8 -1.0 -0.4

Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA Metropolitan Division

4.3 4.0 3.6 -0.7 -0.4

Montgomery County, PA

4.2 3.9 3.5 -0.7 -0.4

Bucks County, PA

4.8 4.4 4.0 -0.8 -0.4

Chester County, PA

3.8 3.5 3.2 -0.6 -0.3

Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division

5.3 4.5 4.6 -0.7 0.1

Burlington County, NJ

4.7 3.9 4.0 -0.7 0.1

Camden County, NJ

5.8 5.0 5.0 -0.8 0.0

Gloucester County, NJ

5.4 4.6 4.6 -0.8 0.0

Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division

4.7 4.7 4.2 -0.5 -0.5

New Castle County, DE

4.4 4.5 3.9 -0.5 -0.6

Cecil County, MD

5.4 5.1 5.2 -0.2 0.1

Salem County, NJ

6.8 6.0 6.3 -0.5 0.3

Footnotes
(1) Data for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area and its components are preliminary for the most recent month.

Unemployment rates in all 11 Philadelphia-area counties were lower in March 2018 than in March 2016. Philadelphia County, PA, had the largest two-year jobless rate decrease at 1.0 percentage point, matching the nation’s decrease. Cecil County, MD had the smallest jobless rate decrease, at 0.2 point, over the last two years.

The March 2018 unemployment rates for the four metropolitan divisions in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area were 3.6 percent in the Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA, division; 4.2 percent in the Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ, division; 4.6 percent in the Camden, NJ, division; and 5.3 percent in the Philadelphia, PA, division. From March 2017 to March 2018, three divisions had jobless rate decreases: Wilmington (-0.5 point), Philadelphia, and Montgomery (-0.4 point each). The jobless rate in the Camden division increased 0.1 percentage point over the year.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for April is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 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 counties are developed through a building-block approach and adjusted proportionally to state model-based totals. For multi-county areas, such as the metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions delineated by the Office of Management and Budget, estimates are summed from the data for their component counties. Estimates for cities and towns are produced through a disaggregation technique.

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 July 15, 2015. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm

The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-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, NJ 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, DE-MD-NJ 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: Friday, May 18, 2018