The state Department of Labor and Industry said in a report released on Thursday that the unemployment rate shot up to 7.9 percent from 7.6 percent, the biggest monthly jump since 2009 and the second straight month that the rate has increased.
The state's jobless rate was at a three-year low of 7.4 percent in May, having dropped from the recessionary peak of 8.7 percent in 2010. The gap between the higher U.S. unemployment rate and the Pennsylvania rate is now as close as it's been since 2008. The national jobless rate was 8.3 percent in July.
Meanwhile, hiring has stagnated since October, rising by just 5,000 nonfarm jobs since then to stay just above 5.7 million. The number of people working or looking for work has risen by about 100,000 since then.
The department says Pennsylvania's job growth also lags behind the nation over the past 12 months. The number of Pennsylvania's nonfarm jobs has risen less than 0.5 percent while the national job growth was 1.4 percent.