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Berks County, Reading unemployment rates rise in May

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Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 12:05 am | Updated: 3:38 pm, Thu Jul 8, 2010.

Following the trend in Pennsylvania but bucking that of the nation, Berks County's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in May, up from 9.7 in April.

Reading's non-adjusted rate jumped to 14.7 percent in May from 13.8 percent in April.

In May 2009, the Berks unemployment rate was 8.7 percent.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May, up from 9 percent in April.

The United States' rate dropped to 9.7 percent in May from 9.9 percent in April.

The seasonally adjusted number of nonfarm jobs in Berks increased from 164,500 in April to 164,800 in May.

This gain marked the third consecutive month that jobs have increased in Berks.

Mining, logging and construction jobs increased by 200 as warmer weather led to additional construction work. Since May 2009, jobs in this sector were down 300.

Leisure and hospitality were up by 500 jobs due to additional hiring at seasonal recreational businesses and restaurants.

Health-care and social-assistance jobs rose in May to 24,100, the highest level on record since the series began in 1990. This was also the third consecutive over-the-month increase in this sector.

Government jobs fell 300 this month, due mainly to the end of the spring semester at Kutztown University.

On the other hand, federal jobs increased 300 because of temporary hiring by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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