2013-07-04 / Local & State

Employment Still See-Saws

County ranked 52 out of 67 in May
By Jean Snyder

STAFF WRITER

Preliminary unemployment data for May released this week shows Fulton County’s employment continues to see-saw at less than a percentage point most months. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for May was 8.8 percent, down one-half of a percentage point from April’s rate of 9.3 percent.

By comparison, the state jobless rate decreased by one-tenth of a percent, from 7.6 percent in April to 7.5 percent in May.

Because of the small decrease in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state went from number 56 (out of 67 counties) in April to number 52 in May. It was tied with Wyoming County for the number 52 spot.

The small increase in unemployment is due to the fact that employment increased from 7,000 in April to 7,200 in May. The labor force increased from 7,800 in April to 7,900 in May and unemployment remained at 700.

The state’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.5 percent in May, according to employment statistics released this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. This was the state’s lowest unemployment rate since March 2009.

“Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate hasn’t been this low since 2009 and has declined for four consecutive months,” said Julia Hearthway, secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry. “Pennsylvania’s rate is now below the U.S. rate, which increased onetenth of a percentage point in May to 7.6 percent.”

Over the year, the unemployment rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point and the labor force was up 45,000.

The employment count, or the number of people working, increased by 24,000 from April. This was the largest increase since August 1983.

The number of people unemployed decreased to 488,000. This was the fourth consecutive month that the unemployment count has decreased.

Private sector jobs were down 6,200 in May, but up 20,600 over May 2012. The number of private sector jobs added since January 2011 was 116,400.

May’s rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 4, with an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. In April, it was ranked number 5, with an unemployment rate of 6 percent. In May, it was tied with Lancaster and Lebanon counties for the fourth position.

Bedford’s ranking for May was number 60, with a 9.2 percent rate, down from April when it was ranked 62 with an unemployment rate of 9.6.

Huntingdon County posted a 9 percent unemployment rate for May, with a number 58 ranking. The April rate was 9.2 percent, with a number 55 ranking.

Montour and Centre counties held the number 1 and 2 rankings for May, with a 5.6 percent and 5.7 unemployment rate, respectively.

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