2013-10-03 / Local & State

Unemployment Rate Shows Small Drop

County ranked 47 out of 67 in August
By Jean Snyder

STAFF WRITER

Preliminary unemployment data for August released this week showed the same pattern of up and down unemployment figures mostly caused by changes in the labor force rather than gains in employment for Fulton County. Unemployment numbers dropped six-tenths of a percentage point from last month. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for August was 8.5 percent, down from July’s rate of 9.1 percent.

By comparison, the state jobless rate ticked up two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.7 percent in August from the 7.5 rate that held steady in May and June. The national unemployment rate for August was 7.3 percent.

Because of the decrease in unemployment, the county’s ranking in the state dropped to number 47 (out of 67 counties) from number 59 in July. It was tied with Clinton, Fayette and Mercer counties for the number 47 spot.

The decrease in unemployment is due to the fact that while employment remained at 7,200 in August, the labor force decreased from 7,900 in July to 7,800 in August and unemployment remained at 700.

Pennsylvania’s August total jobs were at their highest level since October 2008, increasing by 11,300 to a total of 5,767,700. Both private and public sector jobs were up with increases in eight of the 11 supersectors, the primary categories in which jobs are classified.

“Pennsylvania has now added 141,300 private-sector jobs since the beginning of the Corbett Administration in 2011,” Julia Hearthway, secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry said.

Over the year, the unemployment rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point, while the labor force was up 19,000, the amount of people working was up 45,000 and unemployment was down 26,000. “The overall trends for the state’s economy are positive and strong,” said Hearthway.

August’s rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 8, with an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent. In July, it was ranked number 12, with an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent. In August, it was tied with Butler, Cumberland and Elk counties for the 8th position.

Bedford’s ranking for August was number 54, with an 8.8 percent rate. In July it was ranked 59th, with a rate of 9.1 percent. For August, it was tied with Potter County for the 54th position.

Huntingdon County posted a 9.9 percent unemployment rate for August, with a number 64 ranking. The July rate was also 9.5 percent, also with a number 64 ranking.

Montour County claimed the number 1 ranking with an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, while Centre and Chester counties tied for the number 2 rankings in August with a 6.0 percent unemployment rate. The highest unemployment rate in the state (ranked 67th) was Cameron County with an 11.3 percent unemployment rate.

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