2013-12-12 / Local & State

Unemployment Rate Mostly Unchanged

County ranked 53 out of 67 in October
By Jean Snyder

STAFF WRITER

Preliminary unemployment data for October released last 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 rose two-tenths of a percentage point from last month. Fulton County’s unemployment rate for October was 8.5 percent, up from September’s rate of 8.3 percent and back to August’s rate of 8.5 percent.

By comparison, the state jobless rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.5 percent in October from the 7.6 rate in September. The national unemployment rate for October was 7.3 percent but fell to 7 percent in November.

In spite of the local rate being largely unchanged, the county’s ranking in the state rose to number 53 (out of 67 counties) from number 48 in September.

The small increase in unemployment is due to the fact that while employment remained at 7,200 in October, and the labor force remained at 7,800 in September, unemployment rose from 600 to 700.

In Pennsylvania, private-sector jobs were at the highest level since August 2008, according to employment statistics released last week by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

These statistics are the first released since the August jobs report due to the federal shutdown that prevented the release of the September and October jobs reports until now. September’s unemployment rate stood at 7.6 percent, one-tenth of a percentage point below August.

The number of unemployed decreased in October to 485,000, the lowest level since March 2009.

“The economic trends for the state continue to show favorable growth and continued recovery from the Great Recession,” said Julia Hearthway, secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry.

With a gain of 5,700 in October, private sector jobs reached a total of 5,054,400. The most significant gain was in professional and business services, which added 7,700 jobs to reach a record high of 748,600 jobs.

“Pennsylvania has now added 142,700 private-sector jobs since the beginning of the Corbett Administration in 2011,” said Hearthway.

October rankings for Fulton’s neighboring counties include Franklin at number 13, with an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent. In September, it was ranked number 9 with an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.

Bedford’s ranking for October was number 54, with an 8.6 percent rate. In September it was ranked 52nd, with a rate of 8.7 percent. For October, it was tied with Cambria County for the 54th position.

Huntingdon County posted a 9.9 percent unemployment rate for October, with a number 64 ranking. The September rate was also 10.1 percent, also with a number 65 ranking.

Montour County claimed the number 1 ranking with an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, while Centre and Chester counties tied for the number 2 ranking in September with a 5.8 percent unemployment rate. The highest unemployment rate in the state (ranked 67th) was Cameron County with an 11.1 percent unemployment rate

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