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Jobless rates stay low in Fulton, Franklin

September 26, 2000

Jobless rates stay low in Fulton, Franklin



By DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


HARRISBURG, Pa. - The unemployment rates for Franklin and Fulton counties remained well below both the state and national averages in August, according to preliminary figures released today by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The jobless rate in Franklin County fell from 3.3 percent in July to 3.1 percent in August, according to state figures. In Fulton County the rate remained steady at 3.2 percent.

In August, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent and in Pennsylvania it was 4 percent, the report said.

The statistics do not reflect layoffs announced earlier this month by Grove Worldwide Inc., in Shady Grove, Pa., according to labor market analyst Wayne Schopf. The manufacturer of mobile cranes and aerial work platforms announced the layoffs of 260 workers on Sept. 8.

"You'll see that show up next month" when September jobless figures are released, Schopf said.

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Industrial machinery manufacturing jobs remained unchanged in August at 8,100, with total manufacturing jobs in the two counties dropping by 100 to 18,200, the report said. The drop came in printing and publishing jobs, which fell from 1,100 to 1,000, the report said.

Total non-farm employment in the two counties was steady at 55,200. Local and state government jobs were both up slightly, in part because schools districts were gearing up for the new school year, Schopf said. Schopf said there was a drop in wholesale and retail jobs from 13,200 to 13,100, mostly because of Toysrus.com's decision not to open a distribution center in Chambersburg.

The company had hired about 200 people who were in training at the 700,000-square-foot center when the decision was announced in late July.

The August figures showed a total labor force of 64,500 in Franklin County with 62,400 people working. The number of people listed as unemployed fell from 2,200 in July to 2,000 in August, according to state figures. In Fulton County there were 6,400 people working and 200 unemployed, the report said.

Unemployment in Franklin County is well below the 4.5 percent in August 1999 when 3,100 people were jobless, the report said. The jobless rate was virtually unchanged from a year ago in Fulton County, when it was at 3.2 percent.

Franklin County was tied with neighboring Adams County for the 12th lowest unemployment rate among Pennsylvania's 67 counties, Schopf said. Fulton County was tied with four other counties for the 14th lowest rate in the state, he said.

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