HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania's jobless rate ticked back down in the last two months as the labor force shrank but a higher proportion of people reported working, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released Friday.
The 7.5 percent rate in October was down from 7.7 percent in August and 7.6 percent in September. Pennsylvania had hit its post-recession low of 7.5 percent in May before the rate rose again in August.
The national unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in August.
Pennsylvania's jobless rate hit a recessionary peak of 8.7 percent in 2010 after starting at 4.6 percent when the recession began in December 2007.
Meanwhile, the estimate of employer payrolls in Pennsylvania fell by an estimated 7,400 from August to October to below 5.77 million. Payrolls hit a record above 5.8 million in April 2008, but shrank to below 5.6 million amid effects of the recession.
Friday's report covered two months because the federal government's 16-day partial shutdown last month delayed the release of September's official employment figures by four weeks.
Over the last two months, the survey of households showed the estimated number of people working or seeking work slid 41,000 to below 6.5 million, although a higher proportion of the labor force was working in October when compared to August.
The number of people who were employed dropped by almost 25,000 from August to October to below 6 million while the number of the unemployed dropped by 16,000 over the same two months to 484,000, the lowest estimate since 2009.