Unemployment Rate

Unemployment Rate

What does this measure?

Unemployed individuals are those without jobs who are able, available, and actively seeking work. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the total labor force (the total number of employed and unemployed individuals 16 or older and not living in prisons, mental hospitals, or nursing homes).

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.

How is our county doing?

In 2017, the unemployment rate in Erie County was 5.8%. This was almost 1 percentage point higher than Pennsylvania as a whole (4.9%) and 1.4 points higher than the nation (4.4%). Between 2000 and 2017, the county's unemployment rate rose 1.3 percentage points, compared to increases of 0.8 points statewide and 0.4 points nationally. Since 2000, Erie County's unemployment rate peaked at 9.3% in 2010 and dropped in subsequent years before rising again in 2016. In the City of Erie, the 2017 unemployment rate was 6.4%. This was up 1.5 percentage points from 2000. The city's unemployment rate peaked in 2010 at 10.4%.

How do we compare to similar counties?

Erie County's unemployment rate in 2017 was similar to Luzerne County, PA (5.9%) and Broome County, NY (5.6%) and higher than in Stark County, OH at 5.2%. Two of the comparison counties saw smaller increases than Erie in unemployment since 2000 - 0.8 points in Luzerne and 0.9 points in Stark, while Broome increased 2 percentage points.

Notes about the data

The unemployment rate represents only those who are actively seeking employment and does not account for under-employment or discouraged workers who have stopped looking for jobs. Also, county-level estimates are based on relatively small samples, and the true number of unemployed residents may vary considerably from the estimate. The rates reported here are averages of monthly rates. 2018 data for this indicator are expected to be released in the second quarter of 2019.

Unemployment Rate
United States4.0%4.7%5.8%6.0%5.5%5.1%4.6%4.6%5.8%9.3%9.6%8.9%8.1%7.4%6.2%5.3%4.9%4.4%
Erie County, PA4.5%5.5%6.7%6.6%6.1%5.4%5.1%4.8%5.6%8.9%9.3%8.1%7.8%7.4%6.2%5.5%6.5%5.8%
Broome County, NY3.7%4.2%5.8%5.8%5.4%4.9%4.6%4.4%5.6%8.2%8.7%8.6%8.7%7.8%6.6%6.0%5.4%5.6%
Stark County, OH4.4%4.3%6.0%7.0%6.9%6.6%5.8%5.8%6.8%11.4%11.3%9.3%7.5%7.6%5.8%5.3%5.4%5.2%
Luzerne County, PA5.1%5.6%6.5%6.5%6.6%5.8%5.4%5.0%6.2%9.0%10.0%9.6%9.8%9.4%7.3%6.5%6.3%5.9%
Erie City5.0%6.0%7.2%7.1%6.4%6.0%5.6%5.3%6.2%9.5%10.4%9.2%8.9%8.3%7.0%6.2%7.1%6.4%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Total Unemployed
United States5,692,0006,801,0008,378,0008,774,0008,149,0007,591,0007,001,0007,078,0008,924,00014,265,00014,825,00013,747,00012,506,00011,460,0009,617,0008,296,0007,751,0006,982,000
Erie County, PA6,2957,7229,4879,0998,5367,5627,0866,7857,97812,46112,68711,18710,71510,1058,3347,4118,6997,563
Broome County, NY3,5794,1635,6935,5845,2084,7024,4534,3095,4707,9478,5288,1488,1777,1555,8645,2004,6914,819
Stark County, OH8,4108,38811,59613,37513,13312,50611,06211,18412,99221,75721,65117,65214,04714,30510,9369,81910,1589,809
Luzerne County, PA7,9618,80510,15610,01910,4039,1028,5137,93710,10214,51715,90015,34315,75215,07611,65710,25010,0169,352
Erie City2,4302,9223,5133,4143,0872,9012,7162,6283,0714,6074,8774,3354,2183,8593,2052,8443,2062,838

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Employees Increasing
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Median Age Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Decreasing
Foreign Born Population Increasing
Household Types Not Applicable
Average Household Size Maintaining
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Public Assistance Maintaining
Change in Average Salary Decreasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Employment by Sector Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Education Level Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Homeownership Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
Median Rent Maintaining
Student Performance in Grade 3 Reading Increasing
Student Performance in Grade 3 Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Maintaining
Per Student Spending Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Education Level of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Air Quality Increasing
Water Quality Maintaining
Recycling Tons Per Capita Maintaining
Solid Waste Per Capita Maintaining
Vehicles by Fuel Type Not Applicable
Mortality Rate Decreasing
Death from Heart Disease Decreasing
Death from Cancer Decreasing
Death from Stroke Decreasing
Death from Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease Increasing
Hypertension Prevalance Increasing
Diabetes Prevalence Increasing
Asthma Increasing
People Without Healthcare Coverage Decreasing
People Without a Primary Care Physician Increasing
Routine Checkups Increasing
People Who Cannot Afford Healthcare Decreasing
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Children Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Teens Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Adult Smokers Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Decreasing
Binge Drinking Maintaining
Infant Mortality Decreasing
Low Birth Weight Babies Not Applicable
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Non Smoking During Pregnancy Increasing
Early Prenatal Care Increasing