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Franklin, Fulton jobless rates decline during July

September 01, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The unemployment rates in both Franklin and Fulton counties improved in the latest set of data released by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Franklin County saw its unemployment rate drop four-tenths of a percentage point in July. The county's 8.3 percent unemployment rate was below both the state and national averages.

Pennsylvania's rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.5 percent, while the United States' rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.4 percent, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry analysts said in a news release.

Fulton County's unemployment rate dropped from 15.6 percent in June to 14.3 percent in July.

JLG, Fulton County's largest employer, announced in July that it would call back several hundred laid-off employees thanks to a $1 billion government contract. JLG manufactures forklifts and telehandlers.

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JLG President Craig Paylor told reporters earlier this month that JLG plants have experienced a 58 percent reduction in work force.

JLG in Fulton County employed 2,200 people at the start of 2006, according to published reports. Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Truck Corp. acquired the then 37-year-old manufacturing site that fall in a $3.2 billion cash deal.

For July, Franklin County tied with four other counties for the 25th-lowest unemployment rate among the state's 67 counties. Fulton County ranked 66th, ahead of only Cameron County in the northern part of the state.

Franklin County lost 1,400 non-farm jobs in July, according to the labor department. Also, manufacturing lost 200 jobs, bringing its total positions to 9,100, the lowest level since December 2002.

Analysis stated that state government jobs fell by 200, which can be attributed to moves by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to close Scotland School for Veterans' Children north of Chambersburg. The future of that boarding school is being debated.

Data presented is adjusted for seasonal factors.

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