2012-05-03 / Front Page

County Job Rate Continues With Up/Down Trend

March unemployment up slightly from Feb.
By Jean Snyder

Fulton County’s labor force statistics for March showed a .5 percent increase in unemployment, a disappointment from last month’s 1.1 percent drop in jobless rates. Along with the increase in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 36 (out of 67 counties) in February back down to number 52 in March. Fulton County shared the number 52 slot with Clearfield County.

Fulton County posted an 8.1 percent unemployment rate for March, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry last week. February’s unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. Fulton’s unemployment rate for March 2011 was 9.7 percent.

The number employed (7,100), the number of unemployed (600) and the labor force (7,700) all remain unchanged from February’s numbers.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in March, down onetenth of a percentage point from the 7.6 percent February rate. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was below the U.S. rate of 8.2 percent, and has been below the U.S. rate for 47 consecutive months, and at or below the U.S. rate for 65 consecutive months.

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

Rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 10, with an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, down from February’s rate of 6.3 (then ranked number 13). Bedford’s ranking for March was number 56, with an 8.5 percent rate. It is up slightly from February’s rate of 8.4 percent, with a number 55 ranking. It was tied with Lackawanna and Schuylkill counties for the number 56 ranking.

Huntingdon County was ranked number 59 in March, with an 8.6 percent unemployment rate. The county posted a 9.1 percent rate in February and was ranked number 61. It was tied with Fayette County for the number 59 spot.

Montour and Centre counties held the first and second slots with rates of 5.3 and 5.4 percent, respectively, leaving Bradford and Tioga counties tied for the third place in the rankings.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was up 16,000 in March to 6,406,000. Resident employment was up 21,000 to 5,927,000, and the number of unemployed residents fell 5,000 to 479,000. Pennsylvania’s labor force was 3,000 above its March 2011 level.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 7,800 in March to 5,728,400. The March gain was the third increase in the last four months. Most of the increase was within serviceproviding industries, which increased by 8,200 jobs. Leisure & hospitality had the largest increase of any supersector in March, up 7,000 to a record high of 522,000. Mining & logging, up 500 to 38,500 jobs, reached its highest level since the series began in 1990. The largest decline in March was in construction, down 3,000 to 226,700.

Pennsylvania’s job count was up 45,700 (0.8 percent) over the year while national total nonfarm jobs were up 1,899,000 (1.5 percent) over the past 12 months.

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