2008-10-02 / Front Page

Local Jobless Rate Climbs

Fulton ranks 65th highest out of 67 counties

Fulton County's unemployment rate rose by 1.2 percentage points in August, going from 7.3 percent in July to 8.5 percent in August, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry last week. The seasonally adjusted data for Fulton County showed unemployment at 700, with a total labor force of 8,200 for the county in August.

In August, 2007, the county's unemployment rate was only 5.4 percent.

The county, with the increase in unemployment for August, has moved in rankings from number 64 (out of 67 counties) to number 65. Only Forest and Cameron counties posted higher unemployment rates for August. The sharp increase in unemployment statistics for the county reflects recent layoffs at JLG, and it is likely that future layoffs in county industries will impact unemployment further during the winter months. Fulton County's current unemployment rates are markedly higher than both the state and national rates.

Rankings for Fulton's neighboring counties include Franklin at number 6 with an unemployment rate of 4.8, up from 4.2 in July and tied with Cumberland County. Bedford's ranking rose from number 55 in July with an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent to number 63 in August with a 7.9 rate. It is tied with Philadelphia County. Huntingdon County's unemployment ranking rose from 49 in July and a rate of 6.2 percent to 56 in August with a rate of 7.1 percent.

In August, Chester County again posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state with a rate of 4.5 percent, but still up from 4.0 in July. Adams, Lancaster and Lebanon counties all tied for the number two spot.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose fourtenths of a percentage point in August to 5.8 percent. The nation's rate was also up four-tenths of a percentage point, rising to 6.1 percent. The state rate has been below the national rate for four consecutive months. Both Pennsylvania's and the nation's rates are up 1.4 percentage points from their August 2007 rates of 4.4 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted count of total nonfarm jobs fell by 5,900 in August to 5,801,300. Only two sectors - education and health services, and natural resources and mining - showed employment growth in August of 4,300 and 200, respectively.

Pennsylvania's jobs count was down 3,000 from August 2007. Since January 2003, the state has added 175,600 jobs.

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