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Franklin Co. jobless rate drops again

May 30, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County was tied with Cumberland, Lebanon and Chester counties for the state's lowest unemployment rate in April, according to preliminary figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The nonseasonally adjusted rate dropped from 3.2 percent in March to 2.8 percent in April as both the number of people with jobs and those listed and unemployed fell. The work force was down 800 to 76,300, while the number of jobless decreased by 400 to 2,200, according to the department's survey of households.

The survey of businesses showed the number of people employed in the leisure and hospitality category falling by 300 to 4,900. Industry and business analyst Ryan Horner attributed much of that to the end of the skiing season at Whitetail Mountain Resort and its effect on employment there and at supporting businesses.

Horner said the decrease in leisure and hospitality employment is in line with the five-year average for the county. That category of employment likely will show increases from May through August, he said.

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Also in line with the five-year average and the beginning of spring was an increase of 200 in the number of construction jobs to 3,000, Horner said.

L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., said the unemployment rate that has averaged about 3 percent in recent months essentially is full employment. Representatives of area businesses and Chambers of Commerce will be attending a job fair in Coudersport, Pa., in the near future to recruit workers from that struggling area near the New York state line, he said.

In Fulton County, the jobless rate also fell, from 5.9 percent in March to 4 percent in April. The number of people working held steady at 7,900, while the number of unemployed decreased by 200 to 300, according to the report.

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