2012-06-28 / Local & State

Fulton County Jobless Rate Shows Little Change

Unemployment down, but only by .2 percentage point
By Jean Snyder

Fulton County’s labor force statistics for May showed a .2 percent decrease in unemployment, as job creation continues to be lackluster both here and nationwide. Along with the small decrease in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 62 (out of 67 counties) in April back down to number 58 in May.

Fulton County posted an 8.8 percent unemployment rate for May, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry last week. April’s unemployment rate was 9.0 percent. Fulton’s unemployment rate for May 2011 was 10.3 percent.

In May, the number in the labor force remained at 7,800, the number of unemployed stayed at 700, while the number of employed went from 7,000 in April to 7,100 in May.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 percent in May, unchanged from April, in spite of the national rate ticking up from 8.1 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was below the U.S. rate of 8.2 percent, and has been below the U.S. rate for 49 consecutive months, and at or below the U.S. rate for 67 consecutive months.

The state’s unemployment rate was down 0.6 percentage points from May 2011.

May rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 9, with an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, down from April’s ranking of number 11, but with the same unemployment rate. It is tied with Lancaster, Tioga and Warren counties for the ninth spot.

Bedford’s ranking for May was number 59, with an 8.9 percent rate. It is up slightly from April’s rate of 8.8 percent, then with a number 58 ranking. It was tied with Schuylkill and Monroe counties for the number 59 ranking.

Huntingdon County was ranked number 64 in May, with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The county posted a 9.2 percent rate in April and was ranked number 64 then as well.

Centre and Chester counties held the first and second slots with rates of 5.5 and 5.6 percent, respectively. Cameron held the 67th spot, posting the state’s highest unemployment rate of 10.5, but down from 11.7 percent the previous month.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was up 23,000 in May to 6,452,000. Resident employment was up 23,000 to 5,977,000, and the number of unemployed residents was unchanged at 475,000. Pennsylvania’s labor force was 68,000 above its May 2011 level.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were down 9,900 in May to 5,713,300. Both goods producers and service providers experienced declines in May despite increases in six of the 11 supersectors. Leisure and hospitality had the largest decrease of any supersector in May, down 4,300 jobs. The largest increase was a gain of 1,800 professional and business services jobs. Mining and logging added 500 jobs to reach a record high of 38,800 jobs in May, and has added jobs in 33 of the last 35 months.

Pennsylvania’s job count was up 27,800 (0.5 percent) over the year, while national total nonfarm jobs were up 1,782,000 (1.4 percent) over the past 12 months.

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