The number of people employed in Pennsylvania has dropped by nearly 3 million since the state adopted a $5.25 minimum wage in January 2016.
The latest jobs numbers released by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor show that the number of full-time positions has fallen by 575,000 since the increase in the minimum wage.
The unemployment rate has dropped to 4.3 percent, down from 5.6 percent a month ago.
The unemployment rate for those in Pennsylvania who have not yet received unemployment insurance has dropped from 4.6 to 4 percent, according to the Department of Employment Security.
The department also reported that a total of 2,734,000 Pennsylvanians have been laid off in the last month, down by 3,300 from the same time a year ago.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has defended the new minimum wage law, saying it will provide jobs and raise the state’s unemployment rate.
The governor’s administration also has been criticized for having an understaffed unemployment hotline, and a lack of coordination with the state Department of Corrections, which provides food and shelter to more than 20,000 inmates.
The number of inmates serving time in state prisons has fallen from 1.5 million in 2016 to 853,000 in 2017, according the department.