2010-06-03 / Local & State

Unemployment Down

By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

Although unemployment rates in Fulton County for April continue to drop, the decrease was still not enough to move the county out of the next-to-last highest unemployment rate in the state. The employment picture was still far from rosy, but April’s jobless rates fell by four-tenths of a percentage point from March’s.

The county posted a 12.1 percent rate – down four-tenths of a percentage point from March’s final rate of 12.5 percent, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. Despite the decrease 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 15 percent. Fulton County over the past year has regularly changed positions with Cameron County, also a small, rural county with a population of less than 20,000.

The number of unemployed in Fulton County remained at 1,000 in April, while the number of employed rose to 7,000. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for April, 2009, was 13.2 percent.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.0 percent in April, remaining unchanged from the March rate.

Pennsylvania’s rate remained below the national rate of 9.9 percent and has been at or below the national rate for 85 of the past 88 months. The state’s rate was up 1.2 percentage points from April 2009, while the U.S. rate was up one percentage point from a year ago.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – rose by 12,000 residents in April to 6,470,000. The majority of the labor force gain was due to an increase in resident employment of 10,000, which grew for the fourth consecutive month, while resident unemployment inched upward by 2,000. Pennsylvania’s labor force was up 38,000 from its April 2009 level.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 23 (down from number 26 in March), with an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, down from March’s rate of 8.8 percent. Bedford’s ranking for April was number 53, with a 10.2 percent rate, with unemployment down from March’s rate of 10.8 and a number 58 ranking. It is tied with Fayette County for the number 53 ranking. Huntingdon County’s April rate was 10.4 percent, down from 10.9 percent in March. Its ranking went from number 60 to number 56 in April.

Montour and Centre counties again posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state for April ranking numbers 1 and 2, respectively, with Montour’s rate at 6.5 percent and Centre at 6.6.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs rose by 34,000 in April – the largest singlemonth gain since February 1996. In April, eight of 11 supersectors added jobs, with the biggest gains seen in professional and business services up 12,200; trade, transportation and utilities up 8,300; and leisure and hospitality up 5,900. Manufacturing was up 4,400 in April – the third consecutive monthly increase.

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