Lancaster County’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.4 percent in December, the state Department of Labor & Industry reported this week.

Not only was the county’s rate unchanged, so was the county’s ranking among Pennsylvania’s 18 metropolitan areas.

The county’s rate continued to be third best among the metro rates, trailing only Gettysburg (3.2 percent) and State College (3.3 percent).

East Stroudsburg again had the highest rate among the state’s metropolitan areas at 5.4 percent.

The county rate also stayed a notch below the statewide rate (4.2 percent) and nationwide rate (3.9 percent), as its been for decades.

Lancaster County’s jobless rate resulted from the county having 274,200 residents who were employed that month and 9,600 residents without work but actively seeking jobs.

With the December figure, Lancaster County remained in a prolonged period of stable unemployment. The local rate now has lingered from 3.0 percent to 4.0 percent for 25 straight months, according to LNP records.

Still, while staying inside that narrow range, the county rate made modest progress over the prior year, this week’s report shows.

Compared to December 2017, the latest rate is 0.4 percentage points lower. That's because the county had 900 fewer residents who were unemployed but actively seeking work.