2010-02-04 / Front Page

County’s Employment Rate Shows Little Change

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

The unemployment rate in Fulton County rose by threetenths of a percentage point in December. The county posted a 13.9 percent rate – up slightly from 13.6 in November, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. Despite the very small decrease in employment, the county’s ranking remained unchanged at number 66 (out of 67 counties) and unchanged from July, August, September, October and November.

The county’s rate remains lower than only Cameron County (#67) with a rate now of 16.6 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 1,000 in December, while the number of employed dropped from 6,600 to 6,400. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for December 2008 was 10.6 percent.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – decreased by 19,000 in December to 6,310,000. Resident employment dropped 37,000 in December, while unemployment was up 19,000. The Pennsylvania labor force was down 131,000 from December 2008.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent in December, up four-tenths of a percentage point from November. The state rate remained below the national unemployment rate, which remained at 10 percent in December.

Pennsylvania’s rate has been at or below the national rate for 83 of the past 84 months. The statewide rate was up 2.5 percentage points from December 2008, while the U.S. rate was up 2.6 percentage points over the year.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 24 (down from number 26 in November), but with an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, up from November’s rate of 8.5 percent. Bedford’s ranking for December is number 64 with a 12 percent rate, with unemployment up from November’s rate of 11.4 and a number 61 ranking. Huntingdon County’s December rate was 11.8 percent, up from 11.2 percent in November. Its ranking went from number 61 to number 64 in December and tied with Forest County.

Centre and Montour counties posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state for December, ranking numbers 1 and 2, respectively, with Centre’s rate at 6 percent and Montour at 6.3.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count fell by 8,100 jobs in December. Losses were almost equally split between goods producers and service providers. The professional and business services sector, up 4,700 due to a significant gain in temporary help services, showed the largest increase of any sector in December.

Pennsylvania jobs were down 150,300, or 2.6 percent, since December 2008. Nationally, jobs were down 3.1 percent over the same period.

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