2012-02-09 / Local & State

Unemployment Remains Stagnant

Very slight gains shown in December
By Jean Snyder

Fulton County’s labor force statistics for December showed the county once again making small gains in employment with the county’s unemployment rate decreasing by four-tenths of a percentage point. The decrease in unemployment was enough to lower the county’s ranking of 59 (out of 67 counties) in November to number 58 in December. Fulton tied with neighboring Bedford County for the 58th spot.

Fulton County posted an 8.9 percent unemployment rate for December, down from 9.3 percent in November, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry last week. Fulton’s unemployment rate for December 2010 was 12.1 percent.

The number employed (7,000), the number in the labor force (7,700) and the number of unemployed (700) all remained unchanged from November.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in December, down from 7.9 percent in November. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was below the U.S. rate of 8.5 percent, and has been below the U.S. rate for 62 consecutive months.

The state’s unemployment rate was down 0.9 percentage points from December 2010.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 11, with an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent, unchanged from November (but with a ranking then of 9). It is tied with Adams, Allegheny and Lancaster counties for the 11th spot.

Bedford’s ranking for December was number 58, with an 8.9 percent rate. It is down from November’s rate of 9.3 percent, with a number 59 ranking then. It is tied with Fulton County for the 58th ranking.

Huntingdon County was ranked number 60 in December, with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The county posted a 9.2 percent rate in November, and was ranked number 58. In December, it tied with Luzerne and Monroe counties for the 60th spot.

Centre and Montour counties were ranked numbers 1 and 2, respectively, in December, with jobless rates of 5.1 and 5.4, respectively. Their November jobless rates were 5.3 and 5.5, respectively.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 6,500 in December to 5,699,100. Goods-producing industries accounted for the majority of the increase, up 6,200 from November, while service providers were up 300. Nine of Pennsylvania’s 11 supersectors added jobs in December, with the largest volume increase a gain of 3,000 jobs in construction. Mining and logging increased for the sixth consecutive month, up 600 to a record high of 34,400 jobs (data series began in 1990).

Pennsylvania’s job count was up 59,200 (1.0 percent) over the year, while national total nonfarm jobs were up 1,640,000 (1.3 percent).

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