2013-04-04 / Local & State

County Jobless Rate Drops

County now ranks 44 out of 67
By Jean Snyder

Fulton County’s unemployment rate for February decreased significantly by 1.3 percent, from 9.7 percent in January to 8.4 percent in February.

By comparison, the state jobless rate decreased by only onetenth of a percent, from 8.2 percent in January to 8.1 percent in February.

With the decrease in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 49 (out of 67 counties) in January to number 44 in February.

Fulton County posted an 8.4 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 2012 was 7.6 percent. The decrease, however, appears to be a result of people leaving the labor force.

In February, the number in the labor force decreased by 100 from 7,900 to 7,800. The number of unemployed remained at 800 and the number of employed remained at 7,100.

Pennsylvania’s February 2013 unemployment rate was 8.1 percent. Unemployment decreased 5,000 over the month to 532,000. This was the second largest decrease of the past 12 months and the fourth largest since January 2011.

Total nonfarm jobs rose by 600 in February to 5,747,100. This was the seventh consecutive monthly gain.

“We continue to see job growth in Pennsylvania,” said Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Heathway. “A particularly positive sign is the February gain in manufacturing, which added 4,400 jobs.”

The national unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in February, unchanged from January.

February’s rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 4, with an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent. In January, it was ranked number 9, with an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. Franklin was tied with Cumberland and Warren counties for the number 4 ranking.

Bedford’s ranking for February was number 57, with a 9.5 percent rate. It is down from January’s rate of 10.68 percent, then with a number 56 ranking.

Huntingdon County posted a 9.3 unemployment rate for February, with a number 55 ranking. The January rate was 10.6 percent, with a number 56 ranking.

Montour County held the number 1 ranking, with a 5.7 percent unemployment rate, followed by Centre County, with a 6.0 rate. Cameron County held the highest unemployment rates and ranking, with a rate of 11.3.

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