2010-07-01 / Front Page

Employment Figures Remain Weak

Unemployment rate inches up again
By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

Fulton County’s jobless rate continues to fluctuate as May’s rate is up two-tenths of a percentage point from April’s showing no gains in those unemployed but still showing a loss in those employed. Unemployment rates in Fulton County for May increased and that small increase still kept the county in the next-to-last-highest unemployment rate in the state.

Fulton County posted a 12.3 percent unemployment rate for May, up from 12.1 percent in April, 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 14.8 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 May, while the number of employed dropped from 7,000 to 6,900. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for May 2009, was 13.2 percent.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in May, up one-tenth of a percentage point from April.

Pennsylvania’s rate remained below the national rate of 9.7 percent and has been at or below the national rate for 86 of the past 89 months. The state rate was up 1.1 percentage points from May 2009, while the U.S. rate was up threetenths of a point over the year.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – fell by 8,000 residents in May to 6,463,000. The majority of the labor force drop was a decrease in resident employment of 15,000, while unemployment rose by 7,000. The Pennsylvania labor force was up 44,000 from its May 2009 level.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 22 (down from number 23 in April), with an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, up from April’s rate of 8.6 percent. It is tied with Washington and Westmoreland counties for the 22nd ranking.

Bedford’s ranking for May was number 58, with a 10.9 percent rate, with unemployment up from April’s rate of 10.2 and a number 54 ranking. Huntingdon County’s May rate was 10.7 percent, up from 10.4 percent in April. In spite of the small increase in unemployment, its ranking went from number 56 to number 54 in May. It is tied with Mifflin County for the number 54 ranking.

Centre and Montour counties again posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state for May ranking numbers 1 and 2, respectively, with Centre’s rate at 6.7 percent and Montour at 7 percent.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count rose by 19,500 in May to 5,625,900 – its highest level in 13 months.

Pennsylvania has added 76,200 jobs in the past three months. May job growth was boosted by federal government temporary hires for the 2010 Census. Manufacturing rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 900 jobs in May.

Fueled by census hiring, the United States added 431,000 total nonfarm jobs in May, its best month in more than 10 years.

Pennsylvania’s job count was up 5,700 from a May 2009. This marked the first time Pennsylvania’s job count eclipsed its corresponding year-ago count since September 2008. The United States’ job count was down 571,000 jobs from May 2009.

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