Pa. counties' jobless rates ahead of last year's levels

December 28, 2011|By DON AINES |

The unemployment rate in Franklin County ticked up slightly from October to November, going from 6.5 percent to 6.6 percent, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The seasonally-adjusted figures showed the number of people working was constant at 74,600, but the number listed as unemployed rose by 100 to 5,300.

Franklin was tied with three other counties, including neighboring Adams, for the eighth-lowest jobless rate among the state's 67 counties. Centre County was the lowest at 5.3 percent and Cameron County had the worst at 11.4 percent, the report said.

In November 2010, the jobless rate was 8 percent.

"That's a substantial drop," said William Sholly, an industry and labor analyst for the department. The figures show more people entering the labor force over the course of the year who have been able to get jobs, he said.

Since November 2010, the county labor force — the combination of people working and seeking work — has grown by 1,100 to 79,900, while the number of people working rose by 2,100 and the number of unemployed was down by 1,000, the department figures said.

Professional and business services, a category that includes companies that provide staffing and temporary worker services, added 100 to hit an all-time high of 5,700. Education and health services, which includes private educational institutions as well as those employed in health care, also set a record, growing by 100 to 9,600 workers.

Retail employment rose by 100 to 6,900, which Sholly said is typical of seasonal increases during the holidays.

Federal government employment, largely based at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa., rose by 100 to 2,700, while local government jobs also rose by 100 to 5,200.

Manufacturing was steady from October to November at 8,100. However, that was 200 more manufacturing jobs than in November 2010.

The survey of businesses showed leisure and hospitality dropping 100 jobs to 4,600.

In neighboring Fulton County, the unemployment rate rose from 8.8 percent in October to 9.4 percent in November, according to department figures. The number of people listed as unemployed held at 700, but the number of people working fell by 100 to 7,000.

Still, it was much lower than the 12.5 percent rate in November 2010.

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