SUNBURY – U.S. employers added 312,000 jobs in December, despite the unemployment rate slightly rising to 3.9 %.
Those numbers had Greater Susquehanna Valley President and CEO Bob Garrett slightly puzzled, “So the participation rate and the unemployment rate both going up, that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is how you can create 312,000 jobs, which I can’t remember the last time we heard a number that big. You got to go back a decade at least.”
The job outlook here in the Valley and the entire Central PA region also received some mixed reports for December. Unemployment rates in three of the Valley’s four counties are in the bottom 10 in the state, and Central PA’s labor surplus is lessening.
But Sue Greene, Chair of the Chamber’s Penn State Executive Programs, says jobs in the region are very tech-heavy despite people not having the proper education, “It’s still very tech heavy. Were still at growth and manufacturing…I’ve heard again, it’s not your grandfather’s manufacturing any longer, so we still need folks up to speed on technology to help move that forward.”
One caller on WKOK’s On The Mark also commented, saying despite parts of the Valley having jobs available, most of them don’t have family-sustaining wages. You can hear more of this discussion from Friday’s On The Mark on the WKOK Podcast Page.