Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.1% in February, the lowest rate recorded since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.  The new employment data, which can be viewed here, notes that 82% of the lost jobs during the pandemic have been regained.

According to Philly Voice:

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is still well above the national average. In the United States, the  rate was 3.8% last month, but the Pennsylvania’s relatively high rate predates the pandemic. It was 4.8% in January 2020, while the nationwide rate was 3.5%. 

Chris Briem, a regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh, said in 2019 that the gap could mostly be attributed to high unemployment rates in Pennsylvania’s former mining and industrial hubs.

“I often disclaim that I don’t think there actually is one Pennsylvania economy to talk about,” Briem said. “The larger regions in the state, regions such as Philadelphia and Allentown, have sustained job growth far above regions like Johnstown, Erie, and Altoona, which have experienced very slow growth or actually lost jobs.”

Unemployment rates in some parts of the Philadelphia region have grown since the start of the pandemic, while rates in cities like Scranton and Wilkes Barre haven’t changed much.