Pandemic_Impact

The number of jobs and the unemployment rate in Lancaster County both remained stagnant in April, the state Department of Labor & Industry reported Tuesday, showing the local economy has yet to regain its pre-pandemic vigor.

The seasonally adjusted number of nonfarm jobs in the county slipped 0.5%, or 1,200, to 245,200 in the month, compared to March, the state said.

Small declines also occurred in the number of people who were unemployed (down 100 to 14,600) as well as the number of people who were working or looking for work (down 800 to 278,500).

As a result, the county unemployment rate remained at 5.3% in April, the same as March’s rate.

A year earlier, in April 2020, when the pandemic was at its worst, the unemployment rate in Lancaster County soared to 15.2%, the worst here since the Great Depression in the 1930s, as Gov. Tom Wolf shuttered nonessential businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, the number of nonfarm jobs here plunged to 211,600.

The number of nonfarm jobs then recovered somewhat, as Wolf allowed sectors of the economy to partially reopen, reaching the 240,000s in August. But the figure has hovered in the 240,000s since – more than 16,000 short of the 261,500 nonfarm jobs here prior to the pandemic.

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