The unemployment rate in Williamsport remained consistent from May to June, which is consistent in comparison to a statewide decline and national rise by a tenth of a percent each.
However, from May to June of this year, the Williamsport Metropolitan Statistical Area experienced a growth in labor force by 200, an increase in employment by 100 jobs and a consistent unemployment of 3,400.
“We’re recovering to the point where it’s not a giant recovery number month-over-month. We’re now seeing seasonalities come into numbers,” Steven Zellers, an industry and business analyst for the state department of labor and industry, said.
From February 2020 to April 2020, prior to the pandemic, there was a drop of 1,129,700 jobs in Pennsylvania, according to Zellers.
Meanwhile, from April 2020 to June 2021, Zellers said there was a net increase of 734,000 jobs in the state–demonstrating a 65 percent recovery of jobs in Pennsylvania since the pandemic.
Williamsport’s Metropolitan Statistical Area outpaces that at 72.4 percent, while the highest MSA was the York-Hannover area at 79 percent recovery.
Zellers said most of the recovery in Williamsport is due to the service-providing industry, which currently rests at 40,800.
“Your recovery rate being a little better than the state is surprising, because a majority of employment in your MSA is service-providing, which was the hardest hit during the pandemic,” Zellerss said.
Zellers also pointed out the leisure and hospitality industry is making a comeback as well. In the month of June, Williamsport gained around 200 jobs in that industry, while over the year it has increased by 600.
Additionally, Zellers pointed out the data is starting to reflect more seasonal data, which is a sign of returning to “normal,” such as dips in local government jobs during the summer months which represent public school summer vacations.
In terms of looking to the future, Zellers said there has been anecdotal evidence that the gas industry may be picking up in the mid-to-long-term in a broad sense across the state due to several Liquid Natural Gas plants being opened, as well as high demand in the European Union.
In the meantime, however, consistency is the goal in Williamsport.
“It’s steady as she goes,” Zellers said.
The most recent data shows the state unemployment rate as 6.9 percent and the national unemployment rate as 5.9 percent.