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Jobless rate up again in Pa. counties

January 10, 2001

Jobless rate up again in Pa. counties



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Unemployment rates in Franklin and Fulton counties have climbed for the third month in a row, reflecting continued layoffs in the region, according to preliminary figures for November from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

According to the figures, the unemployment rate in Franklin County rose from 4.2 percent in October to 4.3 percent in November. In Fulton County, the number rose from 3.6 percent to 3.9 percent.

The civilian labor force in November in Franklin County was 64,100 with 2,800 people unemployed, up from 2,700 in October.

In Fulton County, there were 6,500 people in the labor force with 300 unemployed, an increase of 100 people from October.

The state unemployment rate of 4.1 percent remains above the 3.8 percent national average.

L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., said after three months of steady increases, unemployment figures in December might stabilize due to seasonal hiring.

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But that halt will only be temporary, he predicts.

"We will start to see the unemployment rate probably spike a little more significantly once January and February figures come out," Ross said. "Numbers are now starting to incorporate layoffs at Grove."

Since Sept. 9, Grove has laid off nearly 500 employees because of financial difficulties.

The most recent dismissals came Nov. 17, when Grove let 80 people go.

Ross attributes the projected spike to a general slowdown in the economy nationwide, but he thinks if lower interest rates and a stabilization of the energy prices emerge, the unemployment figures could turn around again.

Unemployment rates hit a low in Franklin and Fulton counties in August, with 3.1 percent in Franklin and 3.2 percent in Fulton.

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