Unemployment rate logo

The unemployment rate in Lancaster County dipped slightly to 11.1% in June, the state Department of Labor & Industry reported Tuesday.

While that was a slight improvement from May’s 11.7%, the June rate still was more than triple the year-earlier mark of 3.4%, showing that COVID-19 continues to create havoc in the local economy.

Jobless rates for the past three months – which includes April’s 15.2% -- are the only three times that the local jobless rate has been in double digits since the Great Depression some 90 years ago.

The June rate meant the county had 254,300 residents with jobs and 31,800 residents without jobs but actively seeking work.

Shocking as those figures are, they represent significant progress from April, when the county had 236,200 residents with jobs and 42,500 residents without jobs but actively seeking work.

The rate dropped in May and June because businesses were allowed to partially resume operating, as Gov. Tom Wolf loosened restrictions meant to contain the virus.

A year earlier, when COVID-19 didn’t exist, the county had 274,500 residents with jobs and 9,600 residents unemployed but actively seeking work.

While the county rate in June is among the worst in memory, it’s nearly the same as the national rate (11.1%) and somewhat better than the statewide rate (13.0%).

Among the state’s 18 metropolitan areas, Lancaster County also fared better than most, trailing only State College (7.8%), Bloomsburg (10.1%) and Gettysburg (10.2%).