2013-01-30 / Local & State

County Jobless Rate Up For December

County now ranks 61 out of 67
By Jean Snyder

STAFF WRITER

Fulton County’s unemployment rate for December increased by 1.4 tenths percent, from 8.6 percent in November to 10 percent in December, the only month in 2012 when unemployment hit double digits.

The state jobless rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.8 percent in November to 7.9 percent in December in spite of the fact that jobs were added. With the significant increase in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 48 (out of 67 counties) in November to number 61 in December.

Fulton County posted a 10 percent unemployment rate for December, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry last week. Fulton’s unemployment rate for December 2011 was 8.8 percent.

In December, the number in the labor force grew by 100 from 8,000 to 8,100, the number of unemployed grew from 700 in November to 800 in December, and the number of employed stayed at 7,300.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force was up by 17,000 in December to a new record high of 6,559,000. This is the fourth consecutive month of a record labor force level.

“The increase in the civilian labor force in December is a good sign for the state’s continued recovery from the recession,” Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway said.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in December.

December’s rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 10, with an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, up from number 6 with a 6.4 percent rate in November. Franklin was tied with Montgomery County for the number 6 ranking.

Bedford’s ranking for December was number 59, with a 9.8 percent rate. It is up from November’s rate of 8.9 percent, but then with a number 55 ranking.

Huntingdon County posted a 9.7 unemployment rate for December, with a number 54 ranking. The November rate was 8.8 percent, with a number 52 ranking. It was tied with Clarion, Fayette, Schuylkill and Somerset counties for the number 54 ranking.

Centre County again held the number 1 ranking, with a 5.7 percent unemployment rate, followed by Chester and Montour counties tied for a 6.4 rate. Wyoming and Cameron counties held the highest unemployment rates and ranking, with rates of 11.5 and 12 percent, respectively.

The total jobs count in Pennsylvania came to 5,751,500. The largest increase from November was a gain of 4,400 in construction jobs. More than 100,000 private- sector jobs have been added to the Pa. economy since January 2011.

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