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Jobless rates rise in Franklin, Fulton counties

June 30, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Franklin and Fulton counties experienced higher unemployment in May, the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry shows.

The unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in Franklin County and reached 8.3 percent for the month. In Fulton County, the rate rose four-tenths of a percentage point to 13.4 percent.

Both were higher than the state average of 8.2 percent, although the national average for May was 9.4 percent.

Analysis provided by the labor department indicated that Franklin County gained 300 new nonfarm jobs in May, marking the first over-the-month increase since December 2008. Data is seasonally adjusted.

Most of the new jobs were in goods-producing industries.

However, the labor department reports that nonfarm jobs in Franklin County are down 1,800 positions from a year ago. The construction sector, especially, continues to shed jobs, losing 200 in May alone.

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Of a Franklin County labor force of 83,600, an estimated 6,900 people are without work, data shows.

Centre County in the State College area had Pennsylvania's lowest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent. Cameron County in north-central Pennsylvania had the highest rate at 18.6 percent.

Franklin County tied with Northampton and York counties for the 23rd-lowest unemployment rate in May among Pennsylvania's 67 counties. Fulton County ranked 65th.

At 8.3 percent, Franklin County's unemployment rate was more than double the 4.1 percent rate in May 2008. Fulton County's rate was 7.4 percent a year ago.

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