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JLG layoffs push Fulton County jobless rate up

Unemployment rate rises in Franklin County as well

Unemployment rate rises in Franklin County as well

September 30, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The first round of layoffs at JLG Industries sent the unemployment rate up nine-tenths of a percent in August to 7.8 percent, yet that was still below the highest level for 2008 in Fulton County, according to preliminary figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

JLG, Fulton County's largest employer, began a series of planned layoffs in August that are expected to end in October and will result in several hundred people being idled by the slumping domestic and European markets for construction equipment, according to company officials and employees.

The jobless rate in the county, however, was higher in February when it hit 8.3 percent, said Ryan Horner, an industry and business analyst with the department.

Franklin County also saw its jobless rate increase, going from 4.4 percent in July to 4.7 percent in August. That was the highest unemployment rate in the county in more than five years, when it hit 4.8 percent in June 2003, Horner said.

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Despite that increase in the unemployment rate, the number of people working increased by 200 to 81,100, the report stated. The number of people listed as unemployed in the household survey was up 300 to 4,000. The statistics showed 2,800 more people with jobs in August than one year ago, although the number of unemployed was up 1,300 since then.

Franklin County was tied for the sixth-lowest jobless rate among Pennsylvania's 67 counties, but the unadjusted monthly rate was considerably higher than the 3.3 percent rate in August 2007.

The transportation, warehousing and utilities sector was up 100 jobs to 4,900; state government employment grew by 100 to 1,000; and local government grew by 300 jobs to 4,300. The local government number was boosted by school districts gearing up for the new school year, Horner said.

Manufacturing jobs during the month fell by 100 to 10,600, but were at the same number as in August 2007.

"It's very stable in Franklin County as far as manufacturing," Horner said. That is not the case statewide, where 17,500 manufacturing jobs were lost in the past year, a 2.4 percent drop, he said.

The state lost 1,800 manufacturing jobs in August, alone, Horner said.

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