2011-04-07 / Local & State

County’s Jobless Rate Continues Drop

Fulton’s ranking falls to number 63
By Jean Snyder

Fulton County followed the national trend’s unemployment rate in February as the jobless rate fell by nearly one percentage point after falling more than one percentage point from December to January. The gain in jobs was enough to move the county out of the 66th (out of 67 counties) position or the next-to-highest unemployment rate in the state to the 63rd position. Fulton held the 66th ranking for the most part of two years and never dropped below the 65th position during that time. Clarion, Philadelphia, Pike and Cameron all had higher unemployment rates in February.

Fulton County posted a 9.9 percent unemployment rate for February, down from 10.8 percent in January, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week.

The number employed remained at 6,900 and the labor force also remained at 7,700. The number of unemployed in Fulton County remained the same as January’s figures.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.0 percent in February, down from a revised rate of 8.3 percent in January 2011. February’s decline was eight-tenths of a percentage point from February 2010, the largest over-the-year decline since February 1995.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was up 16,000 in February to 6,362,000. Resident employment rose by 30,000 to 5,851,000, while the number of unemployed residents fell 14,000 to 511,000, its lowest level since April 2009. Pennsylvania’s labor force was up 4,000 from its February 2010 level.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 14 (down from number 23 in January), with an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, down from January’s rate of 7.4. It is tied with Lancaster and Sullivan counties for the number 14 spot.

Bedford’s ranking for February was number 57, with a 9.2 percent rate. It is down slightly from January’s rate of 9.7 percent, with a number 60 ranking. It is tied with Monroe County for the number 57 spot.

Huntingdon County was ranked number 61 in February with a 9.5 percent unemployment rate. The county posted a 9.7 percent rate in January but was ranked number 60.

Bradford and Centre counties were ranked numbers 1 and 2, respectively, with jobless rates of 5.1 and 5.3 percent in February.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania increased 23,700 from January to 5,674,100, the highest level in two years. Nine of the 11 supersectors added jobs in February, with the largest increase in education and health services, which was up 11,500 to 1,156,400. For the second month in a row, all goodsproducing supersectors added jobs. Mining and logging increased for the 21st consecutive month, up 600 in February to 30,000, the highest level since 1990.

Pennsylvania’s job count was up 106,800 (1.9 percent) from February 2010; nationally, nonfarm jobs were up 1,269,000 (1.0 percent) from last year.

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