The unemployment rate in the Lehigh Valley continues to drop with the area expected to outpace other areas of the country in hiring during 2015.
In November 2014, the unemployment rate in the valley fell to 5.3 percent, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry reported. It is the lowest unemployment rate for Lehigh Valley since May 2008, and it is the fourth straight month that the unemployment rate has fallen.
The October 2014 unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.
The November rate was 2 percent lower than the 7.3 percent rate reported during the same period in 2013.
Don Cunningham, CEO and executive director of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., expects the unemployment rate to contine falling throughout 2015.
"As companies continue to take notice of the advantages the Lehigh Valley has to offer, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll continue to see the growth in jobs that we’ve seen in previous years continue into 2015 and well beyond,” Cunningham said.
A study by the ManPowerGroup consulting firm in December found that 25 percent of Lehigh Valley companies planned on hiring more employees in the first quarter of 2015 while 66 percent of companies planned to keep their workforce numbers at their current levels. Only 8 percent of companies planned on reducing the number of employees in 2015.
To determine Lehigh Valley’s Net Employment Outlook, labor experts subtracted the reduction amount of employees from the number of companies that will hire new employees in 2015.
Researchers estimate that overall Net Employment Outlook for Lehigh Valley is at 17 percent. In 2014, the Net Employment Outlook stood at just 7 percent.