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Jobless rate dips in Franklin Co.

February 03, 1998|By DON AINES

Jobless rate dips in Franklin Co.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County's unemployment rate for December dipped below 4 percent for the first time in three years, according to preliminary figures released Monday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The number of people employed actually fell by 100 to 60,600. But the civilian labor force and the number of unemployed both dropped by 400 - the labor force to 63,000 and the number of jobless to 2,300.

Labor market analyst Larry Baugher said Monday that the county's jobless rate was the lowest since December 1994, when it dipped to 3.5 percent.

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"It just seems there were fewer people looking for employment," Baugher said. He added that December is traditionally a month for low jobless figures.

The December rate was half a percent lower than the 4.2 percent figure for November, according to Baugher. In December 1996, the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent.

In Fulton County, the rate dropped by 1.3 percent to 8 percent, according to Baugher. Out of a labor force of 6,700, there were 6,200 people working and 500 unemployed.

The unemployment rate for Fulton County was 5.2 percent in December 1996.

Franklin County is tied for 17th among the state's 67 counties, Baugher said.

Baugher said good weather also contributed to low unemployment, with the number of construction jobs in the two counties remaining steady at 2,100.

The number of nonfarming jobs in the two counties was up by 100 to 52,600, according to the state data. Service industry jobs rose by 100 to 34,600, while manufacturing jobs remained steady at 18,000.

Baugher said the survey of employers was done for the week of Dec. 12. The unemployment rate for Pennsylvania in December was 4.2 percent.

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