HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose last month for the first time since January, while employer payrolls rose modestly.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that Pennsylvania’s rate rose in August to 7.7 percent from 7.5 percent.

The estimate of people who are employed dropped by about 26,000, remaining just above 6 million, while the estimate of people who are unemployed and seeking work rose by almost 9,000 to just over 500,000.

Meanwhile, the state Labor and Industry Department said a separate employer survey found that payrolls expanded by an estimated 11,300 jobs in August and crept closer to 5.8 million.

The national unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in August.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate hit a post-recession peak of 8.7 percent in early 2010. It was at a post-recession low of 7.5 percent for the three months before August.

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