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Franklin Co. unemployment up slightly in December

January 30, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The number of people working increased last month in Franklin County, but so did the number of people listed as jobless, raising the rate to 3.2 percent in December from 3 percent in November, according to preliminary figures released today by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Leisure and hospitality employment grew by 500, hitting a record 5,400, said Ryan Horner, an industry and business analyst with the department. The jump was mostly attributed to the slopes opening at Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pa., but restaurants continue to open in Chambersburg's fast-developing Gabler Tract.

Several other categories remained at or reached new records for employment, Horner said. Among them were educational and health services (9,000 jobs), retail trade (7,400 jobs) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (4,300 jobs).

"The over-the-year totals are good compared to surrounding areas," Horner said. Job growth was 2.7 percent in 2007, compared with 2.6 percent in Adams County, while Fulton County experienced a 1.7 percent drop in its number of jobs from December 2006, the report stated.

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Franklin County was tied with Lebanon County for the second-lowest jobless rate in Pennsylvania, behind first-place Chester County, according to state figures.

The number of people working in Franklin County was up 300 for the month, to 78,500. The number of unemployed increased by 200 to 2,600, according to the report.

The number of people working in Fulton County was unchanged at 7,900, but the number of unemployed was up by 100 to 500. That increased the jobless rate to 5.98 percent from 4.6 percent, according to state figures. In December 2006, employment was 8,000 and 400 were unemployed, the report stated.

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