Profile of Pennsylvania’s Unemployed People

Average unemployment rates continue to hover around 8% in Central Pennsylvania. While employment opportunities do exist; they are limited. It’s estimated that for every one job opening in Pennsylvania, there are 4 to 5 people seeking work. There is also likely a gap between the current skills of those on unemployment with the skills required by open positions. In times of high unemployment, individuals are eligible for extended unemployment benefits over a period of up to 99 weeks. Depending on the date of the initial claim, individuals may have already exhausted or will exhaust their benefits by April 2011. In Central Pennsylvania, over 2,300 claimants have already exhausted all available benefits and it’s projected that approximately 11,000 more will exhaust between October 2010 and April 2011.

Who are these potential exhaustees, the long-term unemployed (those who have been looking for work for more than 26 weeks)? The Center for Workforce Information and Analysis, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry recently released a Profile of Pennsylvania’s Unemployed People to illustrate the demographic and occupational characteristics of those individuals who have been impacted by the recession. Click here to learn more.