2009-12-03 / Local & State

County Jobless Rate Remains Unchanged

Ranking still at #66 for October
By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

Employment in Fulton County remained essentially unchanged in October as the jobless rate continued to hover near 15 percent. October’s seasonally adjusted rate was 14.8 percent, up one-tenth of a percent from the final September rate of 14.7 percent, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. Despite the very small increase in unemployment, the county’s ranking remained unchanged at number 66 (out of 67 counties) and unchanged from July, August and September.

The county’s rate remains lower than only Cameron County (#67) with a rate now of 17.4 percent. Fulton County over the past year 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 October, while the number of employed also remained at September’s rate of 6,700.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – fell by 27,000 in October to 6,340,000. Resident employment was down 29,000 in October, while resident unemployment was up 2,000 over the month. The Pennsylvania labor force was down 95,000 over the year.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.8 percent in October. The state rate has been at or below the United States’ rate – which rose to 10.2 percent in October – for 81 of the past 82 months. Pennsylvania’s rate was up 3 percentage points from October 2008, while the U.S. rate was up 3.6 percentage points over the year.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 24 (up from number 27 in September) with an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, unchanged from September’s rate. Franklin is tied for the number 24 slot with Perry and York counties. Bedford’s ranking for October is number 61 with an 11.5 percent rate, down from number 63 with a 12 percent rate in September. Huntingdon County’s October rate was 11.2 percent unchanged from September, but its ranking went from 61 in September to 57 in October. It is tied with Carbon and Philadelphia counties for the number 57 spot.

Centre and Montour counties posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state for October, ranking numbers 1 and 2, respectively, with Centre’s rate at 6.1 percent and Montour at 6.3.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count rose by 10,600 jobs in October. The gain in jobs was the second for the state in the past 14 months and was the largest single month increase since June 2007. Nearly all of the October gain could be attributed to education and health services, which added a seasonally adjusted 11,600 jobs – a near reversal of the 10,100 jobs the sector lost in September. The leisure and hospitality, and government sectors each posted October gains of more than 1,000 jobs.

Pennsylvania jobs were down 3.2 percent since October 2008; nationally, jobs were down 4 percent during the same time period.

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