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Fulton jobless rate among Pa.'s highest

March 09, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Fulton County's unemployment rate of 11.5 percent in January continued to make it a state leader for joblessness.

The county ranked 65th among the state's 67 counties when the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry released January's statistics Monday. Fulton County lost 100 manufacturing jobs from December to January, leading to 600 fewer manufacturing jobs than there were in January 2008.

Franklin County's unemployment rate increased eight-tenths of a percentage point to 6.8 percent, allowing the county to hover just below Pennsylvania's average of 7 percent.

"We're seeing broad-based losses in virtually all areas of the state," said Ryan Horner, an industry and business analyst with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

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One area that has fared comparatively well is State College, Pa., which serves as the hub for Penn State University, Horner said.

The Herald-Mail previously reported the Pennsylvania unemployment rate without regard to seasonal adjustments. However, to better align with the state's data, the figures now being used are adjusted to compensate for normal fluctuations like construction and tourism seasons.

Franklin County hasn't seen 6.8 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment since September 1986, Horner said.

Franklin County lost 1,300 nonfarm jobs in January, according to state statistics. That places the number of nonfarm jobs at 59,200.

Horner said the statistics were a snapshot taken during the week of Jan. 12, so they might not fully reflect the mid-January announcement of 315 job cuts at Manitowoc Crane Group's plant in Shady Grove, Pa. Company officials later announced an additional 450 cuts.

Cameron County had the highest jobless rate, 14.9 percent. The county is in north-central Pennsylvania.

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