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Jobless rate increases in Franklin County

July 28, 1999|By DON AINES

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A drop in the number of people employed by local government led to an increase in the Franklin County unemployment rate from 3.9 percent in May to 4.3 percent in June, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

"It happens every year," said Labor Market Analyst Wayne Schopf.

Students and school district employees without year-round contracts, such as cafeteria workers and other support personnel, enter the labor market at the beginning of summer and cause a spike in the jobless rate, he said.

The number of nonfarm jobs in the labor market made up of Franklin and Fulton counties fell by 300 to 56,100, according to the state report. The number of people employed by local governments fell by 400 to 4,500.

That dropped the number of service industry jobs to 37,600 with all other categories remaining steady during the reporting period.

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That was offset somewhat by an increase in the number of construction jobs from 2,500 to 2,600. That raised the number of jobs in goods producing industries from 18,400 to 18,500 in the two counties, the report said.

The number of people unemployed in Franklin County was up by 300 to 2,900, although the statistics showed that the number of people with jobs rose by 400 to 63,900. The total labor force expanded by 700 to 66,800.

Fulton County recorded an all-time low unemployment rate of 2.6 percent in May and it remained at that level in June.

The number of people unemployed remained steady at 200, as did the work force of 6,500 and labor force of 6,700, according to state figures.

Schopf said Fulton County's jobless rate was the fourth lowest among Pennsylvania's 67 counties. Franklin County ranked 23rd in the state, he said.

Montour County had the lowest rate at 2.3 percent.

The June jobless rate for Pennsylvania was 4.3 percent, which matched the national rate for that month, according to the department report.

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