2012-10-04 / Local & State

Jobless Rate Improves By .3 Percent

County now ranks 46 out of 67
By Jean Snyder

STAFF WRITER

Fulton County’s labor force statistics for August showed a .3 percent decrease in unemployment in spite of the fact that the state rate increased by .2 percent. The decrease in unemployment equaled the increase in unemployment for last month as numbers continue a slight seesaw both here and statewide. With the decrease in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 54 (out of 67 counties) in July to number 46 in August.

Fulton County posted an 8.9 percent unemployment rate for August, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. July’s unemployment rate was 9.2 percent. Fulton’s unemployment rate for August 2011 was 9.5 percent.

In August, the number in the labor force remained at 8,000, the number of unemployed stayed at 700 and the number of employed stayed at 7,300.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in August, up two-tenths of a percentage point from the July rate of 7.9 percent. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate equaled the U.S. rate in August and has been at or below the U.S. rate for 70 consecutive months.

August’s rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 9, with an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent. The county’s July ranking was number 11, with a 6.9 percent unemployment rate that month. It was tied with Greene County for the number 11 spot.

Bedford’s ranking for August was number 50, with a 9.0 percent rate. It is down from July’s rate of 9.1 percent, then with a number 54 ranking. It was tied with Northumberland County for the number 50 ranking.

Huntingdon County posted a 9.4 unemployment rate for August, with a number 56 ranking. The July rate was 9.6 percent, with a number 60 ranking. It was tied with Fayette County for the number 56 ranking.

Centre County continued to hold the number 1 ranking, with a 6.0 percent unemployment rate, while Cameron and Philadelphia counties held the highest unemployment rates and ranking, with a rate of 11 percent.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was down 3,000 in August to 6,475,000. Resident employment was down 19,000 to 5,950,000, and the number of unemployed residents was up 16,000 to 525,000. Pennsylvania’s labor force was 105,000 above its August 2011 level.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania fell for a fifth straight month, down 1,200 in August to 5,708,900. Since March, jobs were down 19,400, but this followed a two-month increase of 27,400 in February and March. Goods-producing jobs were down 2,100 while service-providing jobs increased by 900. The largest drop from July was in construction, down 3,300, while the largest increase was in leisure and hospitality, up 2,200. Professional and business services reached a record high of 722,500 jobs in August. Additionally, manufacturing added 1,600 jobs in August, the sixth increase in 2012.

Pennsylvania’s job count was up 15,600 (0.3 percent) over the year, with increases in both goods-producing and service-providing industries. Manufacturing jobs were up 5,400 (1.0 percent) from last August.

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