by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 1 March 2006) -- Pennsylvania unemployment has reached a five-year low.
It stands at 4.4 percent for the first time since February 2001.
The total number of jobs in Pennsylvania tops 5.74 million, an all-time high, according to the Labor Department.
Spokesman Barry Ciccocioppo notes that peer states such as Michigan and Ohio have not yet created the number of jobs lost since the September Eleventh attacks.
"Pennsylvania has surpassed the pre-recession job levels, and our unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is now well below the national level," Ciccocioppo said. "In fact, it's been better than the national unemployment level for the past five straight months."
The 4-point-4 percent unemployment rate is eight-tenths of a percentage point lower than it was last year at this time.
All of the most recent figures are from January.
County-specific job counts will be released in a couple of weeks.