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Fulton County jobless rate soars to 15%

July 28, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The unemployment rate in Franklin and Fulton counties worsened in June, according to the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Franklin County's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.4 percent.

The rate in Fulton County jumped from 13.2 percent to 15 percent, the highest rate since March's 15.8 percent.

The analysis stated that the number of nonfarm jobs held steady at 58,700 in Franklin County. However, compared to June 2008, Franklin County has 2,300 fewer positions.

Fulton County in June was down to 4,400 jobs -- a decrease of 1,000 since a year ago. Many of those eliminated positions are at the county's largest employer, JLG, which announced in mid-July that 550 to 650 former employees will be called back to fulfill a $1 billion government contract.

Most of those callbacks will occur in the Pennsylvania plants, in McConnellsburg, Shippensburg and Bedford, a company spokesman previously told The Herald-Mail.

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In Franklin County, trade, transportation and utilities jobs fell by 4.3 percent in the past year. A labor department analysis mentioned that the decrease exceeded the statewide over-the-year drop of 3.3 percent.

Franklin County's 8.4 percent unemployment rate is double the June 2008 rate of 4.2 percent. Fulton County's June 2008 rate was 7.4 percent.

Franklin County tied with Lackawanna County, around Scranton, Pa., for the state's 24th-lowest unemployment rate in June among Pennsylvania's 67 counties. Fulton County ranked 66th, with only Cameron County's 18.6 percent unemployment rate behind it.

The Pennsylvania rate was 8.3 percent and the nationwide rate was 9.5 percent in June.

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