Pennsylvania jobless rate hits 15.1% as payrolls collapse

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate skyrocketed in April at the height of the state’s pandemic-driven shutdown to its highest rate in over four decades of record-keeping, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday.

Meanwhile, payrolls fell by more than 1 million to the lowest level in at least three decades. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate more than doubled to 15.1% in April, up from 5.8% in March, the department said. The national rate was 14.7% in April.

Pennsylvania’s highest unemployment rate was 12.7% in 1983, according to online federal data that keeps track back to 1976. Meanwhile, 1.9 million Pennsylvanians have sought unemployment benefits since mid-March, almost one-third of the labor force.

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