The Lehigh Valley gained 5,600 jobs in October of 2014, for a seasonally adjusted total of 325,000. This amount is 2,700 less than the August record high for the year. Overall, the Valley’s unemployment rate fell one-tenth percent to 7.7%, the lowest since the Great Recession first occurred.
Despite the small gain, the increase represents a positive trend and ultimately the lowest unemployment rate since the height of the Great Recession, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
The main driver of the job increase for October was Professional and Business Services. This sector accounted for over 48,000 jobs in the region, an increase of 2,700 for the same period just a year earlier.
Construction accounted for an 800 job increase, Warehousing added 1,100 jobs to the total, while Education and Tourism added 1,600 jobs each. The tourism total is notable because although it is down from the summer time high, it was still up from one year ago.
Although declines were small, the Lehigh Valley did see decreases of hundreds of jobs in the Retail and the Government sectors. Surprisingly, jobs in the Manufacturing sector remained at a record low for this area, despite the growth of manufacturing output.