Unemployment rate up a bit in Franklin Co.

December 01, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - The unemployment rate rose slightly from September to October, yet Franklin County still saw the number of people working increase and set records for employment in several categories, according to preliminary figures released this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

"As far as monthly movement, it's nominal," Ryan Horner, an industry and business analyst for the department, said of the increase from 3 percent in September to 3.1 percent in October. That was still good enough for the second-lowest rate among Pennsylvania's 67 counties, right behind neighboring Adams County at 3 percent, he said.

There were small increases of 100 jobs each in the categories of retail sales, education and health services and local government, but all three categories were at all-time records, Horner said.

Retail sales jobs hit 7,200 in October, which is 500 more than in October 2006, according to state data. Much of the growth has been driven by the development of Chambersburg Crossing and other retail centers in the borough's North End. The number of education and health services jobs hit 9,000 during the month and local government, made up mostly of public school jobs, set a record with 5,200 people employed.


Leisure and hospitality jobs hit a record over the summer, but had pulled back by 300 jobs to 4,900 in October. Still, the development of new restaurants has increased employment in that category by 300 over October of last year. Transportation, warehousing and utilities added 100 jobs to reach 4,300 jobs, the report stated.

No category showed an employment drop in the report.

The county's nonfarm employment grew by 2.6 percent over the year, one of the highest growth rates in the state with 1,500 new jobs, Horner said. Adams County added fewer jobs, but its growth rate was higher at 3.1 percent.

Overall, the number of people working was up by 100 to 77,700, while the ranks of the unemployed was unchanged at 2,400, according to the report.

In Fulton County, the unemployment rate increased from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent in October. The number of people employed was down by 100 to 7,800, but the number of jobless held steady at 400, the report stated.

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