2009-12-31 / Local & State

County Jobless Rate Improves Slightly

But ranking still at #66 for November
By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

The unemployment rate in Fulton County fell by 1.1 percentage points in November. The county posted a 13.7 percent rate – down slightly from 14.8 in October, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. Despite the very small increase in employment, the county’s ranking remained unchanged at number 66 (out of 67 counties) and unchanged from July, August, September and October.

The county’s rate remains lower than only Cameron County (#67) with a rate now of 16 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 dropped to 1,000 in November, while the number of employed was 6,600. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for November 2008 was 10.5 percent.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – decreased by 12,000 in November to 6,328,000. Resident unemployment dropped to 22,000 in November, while employment was up 10,000. The Pennsylvania labor force was down 105,000 over the year.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in November, down four-tenths of a percentage point from the revised October rate of 8.9 percent – the first drop in the state unemployment rate since March 2007. Pennsylvania remained below the United States’ unemployment rate, which fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 10 percent in November. Pennsylvania’s rate was up 2.4 percentage points from November 2008, while the U.S. rate was up 3.2 percentage points over the year.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 25 (down from number 23 in October) with an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent, down from October’s rate of 8.9 percent. Bedford’s ranking for November is number 61 with an 11.4 percent rate. Although the ranking remains unchanged from October, unemployment is down two-tenths of a percentage point from 11.6 percent in October. Huntingdon County’s November rate was 11.3 percent, up from 11.1 percent in October. Their ranking went from number 57 to number 60 in November

Centre and Chester counties posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state for November, ranking numbers 1 and 2, respectively, with Centre’s rate at 5.9 percent and Chester at 6.4.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count fell by 10,200 jobs in November. Of Pennsylvania’s 11 sectors, eight saw a reduction in jobs in November, with the largest declines in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government. Education and health services reached a new record high job count of 1,133,300, while construction added 1,900 jobs – its biggest gain in 22 months.

Pennsylvania jobs were down 167,200, or 2.9 percent, since November 2008. Nationally, jobs were down 3.5 percent over the same period.

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