Employment Remains Stagnant
Preliminary unemployment data for April released last week shows Fulton County’s employment is stagnant and continues to fluctuate less than a percentage point most months. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for April was 9.4 percent, up one-half of a percentage point from March’s rate of 8.9 percent.
By comparison, the state jobless rate decreased by threetenths of a percent, from 7.9 percent in March to 7.6 percent in April.
Because of the small increase in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 54 (out of 67 counties) in March to number 56 in April.
The small increase in unemployment is due to the fact that employment dropped from 7,200 in March to 7,000 in April. The labor force decreased from 7,900 in March to 7,800 in April and unemployment remained at 700.
Statewide, unemployment decreased 17,000 to 496,000. This was the third-largest decrease on record, behind only March 2013 and July 1983.
Employment was up 13,000 to 6,008,000. This increase tied September 2012 for the secondlargest employment increase in the past 12 months.
Private sector jobs were up 8,300 to the highest level since September 2008. The largest gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and educational and health services, which all reached record-high job levels in April.
“April was a tremendous month for job growth and the state’s employment situation,” said Julia Hearthway, secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry. “Pennsylvania has added 125,700 private sector jobs to the economy since Gov. Corbett took office.”
The national unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in April, down one-tenth of a percentage point from March.
April’s rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 5, with an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent. In March, it was ranked number 6, with an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. In April it was tied with Cumberland County for the fifth position.
Bedford’s ranking for April was number 63, with a 9.6 percent rate, up from March when it was ranked 56 with an unemployment rate of 9.2.
Huntingdon County posted a 9.2 unemployment rate for April, with a number 55 ranking. The March rate was 8.6 percent, with a number 52 ranking.
Centre and Montour counties tied for the number 1 ranking, with a 5.8 percent unemployment rate, followed closely by Chester County, with a 5.7 rate. Cameron County held the highest unemployment rates and ranking, with a rate of 10.9.