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Franklin Co. jobless rate ties for 8th lowest

June 01, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The April unemployment rate for Franklin County fell to 3.3 percent, tying with the eighth lowest rate among Pennsylvania's 67 counties, according to preliminary figures released Monday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The jobless rate fell from 4.2 percent in March as Franklin County tied with neighboring Adams County. Two years ago, the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

The number of people with jobs grew by 700 to 64,300, while the number listed as unemployed dropped by 600 to 2,200. The department reported that the total labor force grew by 100 to 66,500.

Adams County's figures showed 42,800 people employed and 1,500 listed as jobless.

In Fulton County, the rate fell from 5.5 to 4.1 percent. The number of people unemployed fell from 400 to 300 and the number employed rose by 100 to 6,600.

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A year ago, the jobless rate in Fulton County was 5.3 percent, but last August it skyrocketed to 17.8 percent when the county's largest employer, JLG Industries in McConnellsburg, Pa., temporarily laid off more than 800 workers.

Labor Analyst Larry Baugher said Franklin and Fulton counties comprise one of 43 labor markets in the state. Their combined jobless rate of 3.3 percent ranks fourth in the state.

Baugher said the lower rates likely reflect "a lot of small companies adding people here and there and generally good business conditions."

Total nonagricultural jobs in the two counties totaled 55,900 in April, up 300 from March. Manufacturing jobs rose by 200 to 18,600 while service industry jobs rose by 100 to 37,300.

The unemployment rate for Pennsylvania in April was 4.3 percent, according to statistics.

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