Unemployment lowest since '08

Huntingdon County’s employment rate dipped from September to October, bringing it to its lowest point since June 2008.

The county’s jobless rate fell to 6.2 percent in October from 6.8 percent in September. The rate was 6.8 percent in October 2014.

“It’s just been a movement,” said Jeff Newman, industry and business analyst with the state Department of Labor & Industry Center for Workforce Information and Analysis. “Employment is up 300 over the previous month and unemployment is down and that’s what’s driving the number.”The labor force rose 100 to 19,800. Employment was also up to 18,600, a jump of 300. The number of unemployed dipped by 100 to 1,200.
 
Newman added no one industry is driving the employment shift.
 
“Over the year, the movement has been in service providing industries, trade, transportation and utilities and education and health services,” he said.
 
Huntingdon County is tied for 52nd in the state with Lycoming, Monroe and Sullivan counties.
 
Chester County has the lowest rate in the state at 3.6 percent. That is followed by Cumberland County at 3.7 percent and Centre County at 3.8 percent. Adams, Lancaster and Montgomery counties round out the list with 3.9 percent unemployment.
 
Forest County has the highest rate of unemployment with 7.3 percent. That’s followed by Fayette County at 7.1 percent and Cameron County at 7 percent. Armstrong and Potter counties, at 6.8 percent, round out the bottom of the list.
 
“Unemployment is down across the state over the past few months,” Newman said. “I think there were some months earlier this year when the rate was creeping up.
 
“In some areas, like Huntingdon, the unemployment rate has really gotten low for the area,” he said. “There have been ups and downs this year throughout the whole state.”
 
In neighboring Bedford County, the rate is 5.8 percent. In Blair County, the rate is 5 percent. In Franklin County, the rate is 4.9 percent and in Fulton County, the rate is 6 percent. In Juniata County, the rate is 4.7 percent and, in Mifflin County, the rate is 5.3 percent.
 
The state rate of unemployment is 5.1 percent while the national rate is 5 percent.
 
Candy can be reached at cprice@huntingdondailynews.com.