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Franklin County continues to lead state in jobless rate

August 05, 2006|by DON AINES

HARRISBURG, PA. - Manufacturing, construction and warehousing were among several sectors that showed job growth in June as Franklin County continued to have the state's lowest unemployment rate, according to the preliminary report released this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 3.1 percent in May to 3.3 percent in June. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell from 3.2 percent to 3.1 percent, according to state figures.

Franklin County has held the top position among the state's 67 counties for all of 2006, said Ryan Horner, a business and industry analyst with the department. The county was also at or near the top of counties with the lowest jobless rates for all of 2005, he said.

Reflecting the strength of the regional economy, Franklin County edged neighboring Adams County, which was second with a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 3.2 percent.

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As the construction season got into full swing, companies reported hiring another 200 workers, bringing the total to 3,200, the report stated. Manufacturing was u 100 jobs to 10,500, and up 300 over June 2005.

The transportation, trade and utilities category also added 100 jobs during the month to hit 4,300, according to the report. That is 500 more people employed in that category than in June 2005.

The educational and health services, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality sectors each added 100 jobs during the month. Those three categories comprise more than 17,000 jobs.

Total non-farm employment in the county was 57,700 in June, an increase of 400 over May and nearly 2,000 higher than June 2005.

Only local government showed a decrease from 5,200 jobs in May to 4,900 in June, which the department attributed to seasonal reductions in staffing by school districts.

"Typical summer increases in construction and leisure and hospitality and typical summer decreases in school districts," Horner said of the employment picture.

The household survey showed employment up by 1,200 in June to 77,200, an all-time record, Horner said. As students entered the job market, the labor force swelled by 1,400 to 79,800 and the number of people listed as unemployed rose by 100 to 2,600.

Fulton County saw its unemployment rate remain at 4 percent in June, although the number of people employed was up by 200 to 8,300.

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