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Employment fairly steady in Pa. counties

September 28, 1999|By DON AINES

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The jobless rate was down a bit in Franklin County and up a bit in Fulton County in August, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Unemployment in Franklin County dipped from 4.5 percent in July to 4.4 percent in August, according to Labor Market Analyst Wayne Schopf. The number of people listed as jobless fell by 100 to 2,900.

The total labor force fell from 67,000 to 66,600, while the number of people employed decreased by 300 to 63,700, according to state figures.

In Fulton County the number of unemployed remained steady at 200, as did the number of people with jobs at 6,500. The labor force was also steady at 6,700, although the jobless rate went from 2.8 to 3 percent in August.

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Schopf said the increase in Fulton County was probably due to rounding off numbers to the nearest hundred.

Among Pennsylvania's 67 counties, Franklin was tied for 29th with Clarion County, Schopf said. Fulton County was tied for fifth lowest with Centre County. Montour County had the lowest jobless rate at 2 percent.

The total number of nonfarm jobs in the two counties fell from 55,200 to 54,900. State figures said the loss of 100 industrial machinery production jobs lowered manufacturing employment to 18,400. Again, Shopf said that decrease could have been the result of rounding off figures.

Service sector jobs in the two counties fell by 200. A loss of 100 jobs in both health services and federal government employment was partially offset by an increase of 100 in local government jobs.

Shopf said the local government jobs probably increased because school districts were gearing up for the new school year in August.

The August jobless rate for Pennsylvania was 4.5 percent and 4.2 percent nationwide.

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