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Unemployment rate up in Franklin, Fulton counties

September 01, 1999|By DON AINES

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A drop in the number of local government employees led to a slight increase in unemployment in Franklin and Fulton counties in July, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

In Franklin County, the rate rose from 4.3 percent in June to 4.5 percent in July, the report said. The number of people listed as jobless went up by 200 to 3,000, although the number with jobs remained steady at 64,000. The total labor force increased by 200 to 67,000 people.

The jobless rate in Fulton County edged up from 2.5 percent to 2.8 percent, although the number of people employed stayed steady at 6,500, as did the number of unemployed at 200. The department of Labor and Industry's numbers are rounded off to the nearest hundred.

Total nonfarm employment in the two counties was 55,100, down by 900 from June, according to the report. Local government employment fell from 4,500 to 3,600.

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Letterkenny Army Depot on July 8 completed a reduction in force, eliminating 132 jobs. That showed up in the Labor and Industry report as a decrease in the number of federal employees from 2,400 to 2,300.

The number of jobs in goods-producing industries held steady at 18,500. Construction jobs rose by 100 to 2,700. Industrial machinery jobs went up by 100 to 8,200.

Those increases offset a drop from 600 to 400 in the number of nondurable-goods-producing jobs, according to the report.

And the number of jobs in health services increased by 100 to 4,900.

From June to July, Franklin County went from having the 24th lowest jobless rate among Pennsylvania's 67 counties to 27th. Fulton County was the third lowest in June, but dropped to a tie for fourth in July with Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

The national and state unemployment rates were both 4.3 percent in July.

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