Details on new PA job numbers

Updated job numbers for every state released by the U.S. Department of Labor show that PA continues to lag in net jobs created since January 2011.

The data shows PA (the 6th-largest state economy) added fewer jobs than any of the 10 most populous states, including states smaller than PA and including New Jersey, the nation's 11th most populous state.

This compilation counts all jobs, a total that economic experts call the best reflection of a state's job market.

Many politicians, however, including Gov. Corbett, consistently refer only to "private-sector jobs," a number that tends to be higher since it does not factor public-sector jobs, such as government workers and teachers, lost during the period in question.

The politics of job and unemployment rates can get dizzying. On one hand, governors tout job-creation as evidence of their leadership. On the other hand, governors point to national and international factors that constrict state growth regardless of state leadership.

Either way, here's the latest data:

Pa net jobs added since January 2011: 96,300 for total jobs of 5.7 million.

(Here's the state's job history.)

States closest to PA in population and job counts are Illinois (the 5th largest state), which added 186,500 jobs for a total of 5.8 million, and Ohio (the 7th largest state), which added 138,700 jobs for a total of 5.2 million.

Each of the other 10 most populous states, including smaller states than PA (Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina) and, as mentioned, New Jersey, all added more jobs than PA: Georgia, 223,300; Michigan, 182,200; North Carolina, 209,800; New Jersey, 144,100.

Meanwhile, PA's unemployment rate of 6.9 percent is the lowest it's been since January 2009. But 30 states have lower rates, according to U.S. Department of the Labor stats.