UnemploymenT in Erie County


Analysis Categories

What does this measure?

Unemployment by Race/Ethnicity, Education, Sex, Age Range

Why is this Important?

Unemployment rates are a relatively timely indicator of current local economic conditions, particularly recent changes in the employment landscape that reflect the overall health of the economy. Throughout the nation, racial disparities across many indicators of well-being (including unemployment rates) are persistent, troubling and in need of attention.

How is Erie County doing?


Unemployment for Black/African Americans (14.6%) is over twice as high as the average (by race) of 9.6%, and unemployment among Two or More Races (13.8%) is a close second. The highest concentration geographically falls within ZIP codes 16501, 16502, 16503 and 16507 with average employment of 12.9%.


Unemployment in Erie County is higher for age groups 35 to 44 and 55 to 65 than national averages in 2018. The rate for age group 25 to 29 (7.5%) is higher than the U.S. average of 6.2% which could represent a more difficult job market for new employees. Conversely, Erie County's 30- to 34-year-old unemployment rate of 4.2% is lower than the U.S. average of 5%.

Educational Attainment

Unemployment by educational attainment follows the stepped pattern with increased education, matched by the U.S. averages. The only slight differences occur for the population of adults 25 to 64 years old without a high school diploma, who in Erie County experience a slightly higher unemployment rate at 10.4% compared to the U.S. 8.1%, and the population with some college or an associate's degree with Erie County's at 3.7% and the U.S. as a whole with a higher 4.4%.

Over Time

The Erie County unemployment rate has dropped 4.3% since 2009 and had the lowest average rate in 2019. Comparatively, the U.S. as a whole had a lower unemployment rate in 2018, and over the ten-year time period has had a lower average unemployment rate.

EVS Indicators

EVS analyzes the data in each topic category using indicators, which report a targeted and digestible number, rate, or amount to represent Erie County as a whole. While this does not cover every aspect of the topic, it assists in establishing Erie's performance relative to the prior year(s). The indicator for the Economy: Unempoyment topic is:


This indicator measures the unemployment rate for the latest data year across all sectors and demographics in Erie County, as a percentage. The indicator trend for Unemployment Rate was up and worse between 2018 and 2019, with a reported decrease of +.14% within the County. There were a reported 6,532 unemployed individuals in Erie County in 2019, an increase of -1,415 from 2019.

How does Erie compare to its Peers?

How does Erie compare to Pennsylvania?

About this Data

Data from the U.S. Census ACS as of 12/2020. Population 20 to 64 years old used for Education, Race, and Sex categories.