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Jobless numbers improve in Franklin, Fulton counties

April 27, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • Unemployment rates for March 2010
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry,

Franklin and Fulton counties saw improvements to their unemployment rates in March, according to the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Franklin County's seasonally adjusted rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to 8.8 percent in March. Fulton County's rate dropped from 13.5 percent in February to 12.6 percent in March.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was 9 percent in March, while the national rate remained at 9.7 percent.

Analysis from the labor department stated Franklin County's rate was up 5.3 percentage points from when the recession started in December 2007.

The number of nonagricultural jobs in Franklin County held steady in March at 54,300. The county shed 2,300, or 4.1 percent, of its jobs in the past year.

Approximately 1,300 of those jobs were in the manufacturing sector, although the numbers held steady from February to March.

"It's starting to swing in a positive direction. We're hearing more good news than bad news," said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County (Pa.) Area Development Corp.

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Ross predicted manufacturers will continue to recover through the end of the year.

"We're seeing recovery at Manitowoc. When Manitowoc recovers, you'll see a lot of their suppliers recover," Ross said. "Tyco also was in a hiring mode."

Statistics show Fulton County gained 200 nonfarm jobs since March 2009.

Statewide, the number of jobs decreased 1.4 percent in the past year.

Franklin County ranked 26th among the state's 67 counties for the lowest unemployment rate. Fulton County ranked 66th, trailed only by Cameron County in north-central Pennsylvania.

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