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Payrolls crept up to a new record high in Pennsylvania last month and the unemployment rate is down to its post-recession low


HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Employer payrolls crept up in Pennsylvania last month to a record high, and the state's unemployment rate fell to its post-recession low, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday.

December's jobless rate slid two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.8 percent, its lowest point since early 2008. The rate has been largely stagnant in the past year, after dropping to 5 percent in December 2014.

The national rate was 5 percent in December.

In a survey of households, more people reported being employed.

Pennsylvania's civilian labor force, a measure of the number of people working or looking for work, grew by 18,000, and the number of people who reported being employed grew by 21,000, with both rising higher above 6.4 million. The number of people who reported being unemployed dropped by 15,000 to 306,000.

A survey of employers found that seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls grew by 9,800 to a record high above 5.86 million in December. The biggest gainer was the leisure and hospitality sector, which added nearly 4,000 jobs, while the construction sector fell the most, by 2,500 jobs. Most other sectors, including manufacturing, recorded a small increase.

Pennsylvania's employer payrolls have risen relatively slowly in the past year, adding 38,000 jobs since December 2014, keeping Pennsylvania among the slowest states in job growth.

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