2012-04-05 / Front Page

County Jobless Rate Down

Stats increase for workforce and for number employed
By Jean Snyder

Fulton County’s labor force statistics for February showed a 1.1 percent drop in unemployment, the most significant numbers shown in nearly two years. Along with the decrease in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 56 (out of 67 counties) in January to number 42 in February. Fulton County shared the number 42 slot with Columbia, Lehigh and Somerset counties.

Fulton County posted a 7.7 percent unemployment rate for February, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry last week. Fulton’s unemployment rate for February 2011 was 9.9 percent.

The number employed (7,100) and the number of unemployed (600) changed significantly from January when the number employed was 7,000 and the number of unemployed was 700.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in February, unchanged from the January rate. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was below the U.S. rate of 8.3 percent, and has been below the U.S. rate for 46 consecutive months, and at or below the U.S. rate for 64 consecutive months.

The state’s unemployment rate was down 0.4 percentage points from February 2011.

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 9, with an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, down from January’s rate of 6.5 percent and a number 11. It is tied with Adams County for the number nine spot.

Bedford’s ranking for February was number 52, with an 8.1 percent rate. It is down from January’s rate of 8.7 percent, with a number 55 ranking then. It was tied with Potter and Cambria counties for the number 52 ranking.

Huntingdon County was ranked number 60 in February, with an 8.9 percent unemployment rate. The county posted a 9.4 percent rate in January and was ranked number 63. It was tied with Wyoming County for the number 60 spot.

Bradford and Tioga counties replaced Centre and Montour counties for the first and second slots with rates of 5.1 and 5.3 percent, respectively, leaving Montour and Centre in the third and fourth place in the rankings.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was up 6,000 in February to 6,389,000. Resident employment was up 10,000 to 5,906,000, and the number of unemployed residents fell 3,000 to 483,000. Pennsylvania’s labor force was 15,000 below its February 2011 level.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 16,700 in February to 5,717,600. The February gain was the largest increase since May 2010. Most of the increase was in service-providing industries, which increased by 17,300 jobs from January. Education and health services had the largest increase of any supersector in February, up 8,500. Professional and business services also posted a large increase, up 7,000. The largest decline in February was in other services, which fell for the second consecutive month following seven straight months of increases of at least 500.

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