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Valley, Berks unemployment at four-year low

By , - Last modified: July 3, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Unemployment in the Lehigh Valley and Berks hit a four-year low in May after four consecutive declines.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Lehigh Valley in May was 7.9 percent, down two-tenths of a percent from April.

That's the lowest it's been since February 2009, when it was at 7.6 percent.

In Berks, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May was 7.6 percent, also after four months of decline. That's down one tenth of a percent from April and is the lowest rate since January 2009, when it was at 7.3 percent.

In the Lehigh Valley, mining, logging and construction and leisure and hospitality performed well over the month because of seasonal employment gains.

Several industries were at record level highs of employment: transportation and warehousing and food services and drinking places.

Local government educational services, despite a small increase over the month, was the only sector to show a significant decrease over the year. The sector has been in decline since reaching a peak of 25,000 jobs in May 2010. All government sectors have been either flat or declining on an over-the-year basis for the last 33 months.

In Berks, employment in wholesale trade, health care and social assistance and leisure and hospitality all were at record high levels in May. Retail trade and health care and social assistance saw significant increases over the year, each up 1,000 jobs or more.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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