Pennsylvania's unemployment rate fell by 0.2 of a percentage point in November to 8.6 percent as more residents found jobs and fewer were still seeking work, the state Department of Labor and Industry said today.

November's jobless rate was the lowest in the state since October 2009.

Employment rose by 9,000 during the month, while the number unemployed fell by 13,000. However, some of the drop in unemployment came from a decline in the overall workforce of 5,000. Many of those people had stopped looking for jobs and weren't counted as unempllyed.

The state said eight of its 11 industry sectors showed growth in employment last month, paced by trade/transportation/utilities (up 3,600 jobs) and professional/business service (up 2,300). Construction, a field battered by the housing meltdown that began in 2007, gained 1,900 jobs.

The leisure/hospitality sector lost 6,700 jobs, its biggest monthly loss since March 1993.    -Paul Schweizer