Fourth District Employment Conditions
The Fourth District’s unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point in March to 5.1 percent. The change reflects a 2.1 percent increase in unemployment, and nearly unchanged labor force and employment levels (which both increased 0.1 percent over the month). Since this time last year, District employment has risen 1.0 percent, the labor force has increased 0.7 percent, and unemployment has fallen 4.9 percent. In March, the national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent; it rose to 4.5 percent in April.
Of the 169 counties in the Fourth District, 21 had an unemployment rate below the national average in March, 4 had a rate equal to it, and 144 had a higher rate. Counties in Pennsylvania that are a part of the District were particularly strong—the unemployment rate of these together was 4.0 percent. In the District’s major metropolitan areas, unemployment rates varied. Whereas Pittsburgh and Lexington both had rates of 4.0 percent, other District metro areas had rates as much as 1.9 percentage points higher than the national average (for example, Toledo, at 6.3 percent).
Over the past year, nonfarm employment has declined in Cleveland (–0.4 percent), Dayton (–0.5 percent), and Toledo (–0.2 percent), whereas national employment grew 1.5 percent. Lexington was the only major District metropolitan area to outpace national employment growth over the past 12 months. Goods-producing employment fell in the major District metro areas, except in Cincinnati. Service-providing employment, on the other hand, grew in most major metro areas, although Lexington (at 2.5 percent) was the only area to outpace national growth (1.8 percent). The professional and business services industry posted job gains in all major District metro areas, and the education and health services did the same, except for in Dayton, where employment in this sector fell 0.5 percent.
Payroll Employment by Metropolitan Statistical Area