Pennsylvania jobless rate hits 15.1% as payrolls collapse

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate skyrocketed in April at the height of the state’s pandemic-driven shutdown to its highest rate in over four decades of record-keeping, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday. Meanwhile, payrolls fell by more than 1 million to the lowest level in at least three decades. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate more than doubled to 15.1% in April, up from 5.8% in March, the department said. The national rate was 14.7% in April. Pennsylvania’s highest unemployment rate was 12.7% in 1983, according to federal data back to 1976 under the same methodology. Meanwhile, 2.2 million Pennsylvanians have sought unemployment benefits since mid-March, or one-third of the labor force.

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