Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry officials say that the jobs created from the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling have played a role in keeping the state’s unemployment rate consistently below the national average.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate did increase a small amount from May to June of this year (from was 7.4 percent to 7.6 percent) but it’s still far below the national averaged of 9.2 percent. The Department said that PA’s rate has been below the U.S. rate for 56 consecutive months.

The Department’s figures: Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - was down 17,000 in June to 6,327,000. Resident employment fell by 25,000 to 5,848,000 while the number of unemployed residents was up 8,000 to 479,000. Pennsylvania's labor force was 12,000 below its June 2010 level.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were down 2,600 in June to 5,676,900. The decline was limited to service-providing supersectors. Goods-producing industries were up 3,100 jobs in June after three consecutive months of job losses. Service-providing jobs declined 5,700 in June to 4,853,700. Six of the eight service-providing supersectors shed jobs from May. The largest decline was in Education & Health Services, down 7,800 due to declines in both Educational Services as well as Health Care & Social Assistance. Government showed the largest June increase of any supersector, up 7,700 from May as local, state and federal government each added jobs.