2009-10-29 / Front Page

Co. Jobless Rate Shows Little Gain

Ranking remains at #66 for September
By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

Employment in Fulton County continued to show only small gains in September as the jobless rate continued to hover near 15 percent. September’s seasonally adjusted rate was 14.8 percent, down only one-half of a percent from the final August rate of 15.3 percent, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. Despite the very small increase in employment, the rate is still high enough to keep the county’s ranking at number 66 (out of 67 counties) and unchanged from July and August. The county’s rate remains lower than only Cameron County (#67), with a rate now of 17 percent. Fulton County over the past nine months has regularly changed positions with both Cameron and Elk counties, both also small, rural counties with populations less than 20,000.

The number of unemployed in Fulton County remained at 1,200 in September, while the number of employed rose from 6,500 in August to 6,700 in September.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – rose by 9,000 in September to 6,368,000. Employment was unchanged in September, while resident unemployment rose by 9,000. The Pennsylvania labor force was down 55,000 from September 2008.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.8 percent in September. The state rate remained below the United States’ unemployment rate, which rose onetenth of a point to 9.8 percent. Pennsylvania’s rate was up 3.2 percentage points from September 2008, while the U.S. rate was up 3.6 percentage points in the 12-month period.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 27 with an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from August. Franklin is tied for the number 27 slot with Sullivan County. Bedford’s ranking for September is number 64 with a 12.1 percent rate, up from number 61 with an 11.3 percent rate in August. Huntingdon County’s September rate was 11.3 percent, down slightly from 11.5 in August. It was ranked number 61 in September.

Centre and Montour counties posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state for September, ranking numbers 1 and 2, respectively, with Centre’s rate at 6.1 percent and Montour at 6.4.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count dropped by 10,300 jobs in September. The majority of the job losses were among service-providing industries, however, the professional and business services sector added 2,700 jobs.

Pennsylvania’s job count was down 198,100, or 3.4 percent, since September 2008. Nationally, jobs were down 4.2 percent over the same time period.

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