2013-05-02 / Local & State

County UE Shows Little Change

County ranked 54 out of 67 in March
By Jean Snyder

STAFF WRITER

Preliminary figures for February’s unemployment proved too good to be true as final figures released this week show Fulton County’s unemployment rate for February was 9.2 percent as opposed to the 8.4 percent preliminary figure. New preliminary jobless stats for March show unemployment at 8.9 percent or down three-tenths of a percent from February’s final figures.

By comparison, the state jobless rate decreased by two-tenths of a percent, from 8.1 percent in February to 7.9 percent in March.

In spite of the small decrease in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 53 (out of 67 counties) in February to number 54 in March.

Fulton County posted an 8.9 percent unemployment rate for March, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. The small decrease in unemployment seems due to the fact that employment rose from 7,100 in February to 7,200 in March. The labor force remained at 7,900 and unemployment remained at 700.

Statewide unemployment decreased 20,000 over the month to 512,000. This was the largest decrease in 30 years. Only July 1983 had a larger decrease. Total nonfarm jobs declined by 5,900 in March to 5,742,300. Five supersectors showed gains in March, including an increase of 6,100 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 1,900 jobs in educational services.

Pennsylvania has added 112,800 private sector jobs to the economy since January 2011 with a current total of 5,024,500.

“Pennsylvania continues to see positive signs for our economy as we cautiously but steadily grow out of this recession,” said Julia Hearthway, secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry.

The national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in March, down one-tenth of a percentage point from February.

March’s rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 6, with an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. In February, it was ranked number 4, with an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent.

Bedford’s ranking for March was number 57, with a 9.3 percent rate unchanged in ranking from February, but then with a 9.8 rate. It is tied with Monroe and Somerset counties for the number 57 ranking.

Huntingdon County posted an 8.73 unemployment rate for March, with a number 52 ranking. The February rate was 9.4 percent, with a number 55 ranking.

Montour County held the number 1 ranking, with a 5.5 percent unemployment rate, followed by Chester County, with a 5.7 rate. Cameron County held the highest unemployment rates and ranking, with a rate of 11.0.

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