PA Economy Track

The Great Recession has hit Pennsylvania families hard. Economy Track provides up-to-date information on the state of the Pennsylvania economy.

In September 2012, the state's unemployment rate rose above that of the U.S. for the first time since the start of the recession in late 2007. More recently, the state's unemployment rate has dropped below the national rate.

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation

The unemployment rate measures the share of workers who do not currently have a job but are actively looking for work.

In February, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate stood at 6.2%, one-half of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 6.7%.


National Unemployment Rate


Pennsylvania Unemployment Rate


Change in Pa. Unemployment Rate since Dec. 2007


Total Pennsylvania Nonfarm Jobs

Current PA Work Stats 

Unemployment Rates     PA     US

PA & US Unemployment Rates Over Time
Source: Center for Workforce Information and Analysis

Unemployment By Pennsylvania County

Unemployment by PA County: July 2012
Source: Center for Workforce Information and Analysis


Many Families Turn to Public Services in Recession

While the recession is officially over, many Pennsylvania families are still struggling to make ends meet. The state unemployment rate is high, overall work hours are down, and more people are losing their health insurance.

As a result, more Pennsylvanians are turning to the Commonwealth for help with basic necessities and health care for themselves and their children. At the link below, you will find tables showing how public services are filling the gap created by the economic slowdown in the private sector.

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Poverty and Uninsured Rates

New Census data show that poverty rates remained high in Pennsylvania last year, reflecting the ongoing impact of the recession and underscoring the need for state policymakers to do more to lift up struggling families. The state's uninsured rate showed little change from 2010 to 2011, although Pennsylvania continues to have a lower uninsured rate than the nation as a whole.

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American Recovery Act

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which invests $787 billion over two years to bring the U.S. economy back from the brink of collapse. The Recovery Act is credited with halting the economic freefall that hit Pennsylvania and the nation in the fall of 2008, retaining jobs and providing a foundation for future growth.

View resources on the Recovery Act from a January 2010 conference hosted by the Keystone Research Center.