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Monday, June 2, 2014


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Unemployment in the Pittsburgh Area by County – March 2013

Unemployment Rates in All Area Counties Declined Over the Year

In March, Allegheny and Butler Counties had the lowest unemployment rate in the Pittsburgh, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area at 5.7 percent each, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that among the seven counties that make up the metropolitan area, Fayette and Armstrong registered the highest unemployment rates at 8.2 and 7.5 percent, respectively, exceeding the national rate of 6.8 percent. (See chart 1 and chart 2. The Technical Note at the end of this release contains the metropolitan area definition. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Chart 1. Unemployment rates for the United States and counties in the Pittsburgh, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area, March 2014, not seasonally adjusted

In March 2014, unemployment rates in six of the seven Pittsburgh-area counties were lower by 1.0 percentage point or more from their year-ago levels. (See table A.) Armstrong, Fayette, and Westmoreland Counties had the largest rate decline over the year, each down 1.3 percentage points. Beaver County had the smallest unemployment rate decrease, down 0.5 percentage point from March 2013 to March 2014, and was the only county in the Pittsburgh area with a decline smaller than the nation’s 0.8-point decrease.

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, the Pittsburgh, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area, and its components, not seasonally adjusted

Unemployment rates
Net change from



2014 (1)
Mar 2012
Mar 2014 (1)
Mar 2013
Mar 2014 (1)

United States

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7.6 6.8 -1.6 -0.8

Pittsburgh, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area

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7.1 6.1 -1.2 -1.0

Allegheny County, Pa.

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7.0 6.7 5.7 -1.3 -1.0

Armstrong County, Pa.

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8.8 8.8 7.5 -1.3 -1.3

Beaver County, Pa.

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7.3 7.2 6.7 -0.6 -0.5

Butler County, Pa.

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7.0 6.8 5.7 -1.3 -1.1

Fayette County, Pa.

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9.5 9.5 8.2 -1.3 -1.3

Washington County, Pa.

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7.7 7.5 6.4 -1.3 -1.1

Westmoreland County, Pa.

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7.5 7.5 6.2 -1.3 -1.3

(1) Data for the Pittsburgh, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area and its components are preliminary for the most recent month.

All seven Pittsburgh-area counties had lower unemployment rates in March 2014 than their March 2012 levels. Six of the seven area counties had identical rate decreases of 1.3 percentage points, below the national rate decline of 1.6 points. The remaining county—Beaver—had a smaller unemployment rate decline from March 2012 to March 2014, down 0.6 percentage point.

Technical Note

This release presents unemployment rate data for states and counties from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, a federal-state cooperative endeavor.

Definitions. The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The LAUS program measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis. The universe for each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over. Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation. Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed. The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.

Method of estimation. Estimates for the substate areas in this release are prepared through indirect estimation procedures using a building-block approach. Employment estimates, which are based largely on “place of work” estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, are adjusted to refer to place of residence as used in the CPS. Unemployment estimates are aggregates of persons previously employed in industries covered by state unemployment insurance (UI) laws and entrants to the labor force data from the CPS. The substate estimates of employment and unemployment, which geographically exhaust the entire state, are adjusted proportionally to ensure that they add to the independently estimated state or balance-of-state totals. A detailed description of the estimation procedures is available from BLS upon request.

Annual revisions. Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect adjustments made at the end of each year. The adjusted estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model reestimation. All substate estimates are reestimated and adjusted to add to the revised model-based estimates for states.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800)-877-8339.

Area definitions. The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, dated December 1, 2009. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm.

The Pittsburgh, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania.

Chart 2. Unemployment rates for counties in the Pittsburgh, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area, not seasonally adjusted, March 2014

Last Modified Date: June 2, 2014

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