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Jobless rate stays low and steady in Franklin Co.

October 02, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The unemployment picture in Franklin County in August was the same as in July and a repeat of August 2006 as unemployment remained unchanged at 3.3 percent, according to preliminary figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

There was upward movement within some sectors of the economy as employment in leisure and hospitality, state and local government rose by approximately 100 each during the month. Leisure and hospitality, a category that includes hotels, restaurants and entertainment-related businesses, has been one of the fastest growing in the past year, adding 400 jobs for a growth rate of 8.3 percent, said Ryan Horner, an industry and business analyst with the department. Employment in the category was 5,200 in August, the report stated.

Statewide, leisure and hospitality grew 1.6 percent from August 2006, according to state data.

Retail employment was unchanged at 7,000 from July to August, but for the year is up 300 jobs to 4.5 percent, Horner said. Those numbers could go up next month, reflecting the opening of a Giant supermarket at Chambersburg Crossing in August, he said.

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The development of stores and restaurants in Chambersburg's North End, which includes Chambersburg Crossing, is responsible for much of the growth in the service sector in the past year, Horner said.

Franklin County had the third lowest unemployment rate among Pennsylvania's 67 counties in August, the report stated, with neighboring Adams County in first, followed by Chester County.

The jobless rate in Fulton County decreased from 4.6 percent in July to 4.5 percent in August, according to department figures. The number of people working was down 100 to 7,800, as was the total labor force, which fell by 100 to 8,200. The number of people listed as jobless was unchanged at 400, the report stated.

The number of service sector jobs increased by 100 to 2,700, while goods-producing employment was steady at 3,000.

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