2010-03-18 / Front Page

County’s Jobless Rate Moves Up Slightly

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

Although final unemployment rates in Fulton County for December were better than the preliminary rates, the employment picture remains bleak as January’s jobless rates rose by nearly one percentage point from December’s. The county posted a 14 percent rate – up ninetenths of a percentage point from December’s final rate of 13.1 percent (preliminary figures were 13.9 percent), according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. Despite the increase in unemployment, the county’s ranking remained unchanged at number 66 (out of 67 counties) and unchanged in ranking since June 2009.

The county’s rate remains lower than only Cameron County (#67) with a rate now of 16.9 percent. Fulton County over the past year has regularly changed positions with Cameron and Elk County, also a small, rural county with a population of less than 20,000.

The number of unemployed in Fulton County rose to 1,100 in January, while the number of employed remained at 6,700 to 6,400. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for January 2009 was 11.2 percent.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – rose by 28,000 residents in January to 6,421,000, the highest level in nine months. Resident employment rose by 22,000 in January – the primary reason for the labor force increase – while unemployment saw a gain of 4,000. The Pennsylvania labor force was down 37,000 from January 2009.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.8 percent in January. The state remained below the national rate of 9.7 percent in January; the state rate has been at or below the national rate for 82 of the past 85 months. Both the state rate and national rate were up 2.0 percentage points from the January 2009 rate.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 26 (up from number 25 in December), with an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, up from December’s rate of 8.7 percent. It was tied with Tioga County for the number 26 spot. Bedford’s ranking for January is number 64 with a 12 percent rate, with unemployment up from December’s rate of 11.7 and a number 63 ranking. Huntingdon County’s January rate was 11.1 percent, down from 11.3 percent in December. However, its ranking went from number 59 to number 60 in January.

Centre and Montour counties posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state for January, ranking numbers 1 and 2, respectively, with Centre’s rate at 6.3 percent and Montour at 6.4.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count rose by 9,600 jobs in January, with job growth concentrated in two supersectors. Education and health services and leisure and hospitality were up 4,500 and 3,800, respectively. Manufacturing was down 2,300 jobs.

Pennsylvania jobs were down 143,300, or 2.5 percent, since January 2009. The United States’ job count was down by slightly more than 4 million jobs, or 3.0 percent over the same period.

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