By Mary Spicer
Crawford County’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 for May — a 0.2 percent decrease “pretty much in line” with the movement experienced by 55 out of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, a state labor analyst said Friday.
The county’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.4 percent is down 0.2 percentage points from the 7.6 percent rate reported for April, according to statistics released this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. This brings the county back to the same seasonally adjusted rate reported for May 2012.
Out of a seasonally adjusted labor force of 42,400, Crawford County had 39,300 people employed in May, up from both March and April, when 39,100 members of a labor force of 42,200 and 38,900 members of a labor force of 42,100 were reported as employed, respectively. The number of unemployed dropped to 3,100 in May, down from 3,200 in April. In March, the number of unemployed in the county was reported as 3,100.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate remained 7.6 percent in June. Crawford County’s June unemployment rate won’t be calculated until later this month.
State labor analyst Ismael Fertenbaugh noted that 500 jobs were added in May, “which is about average for a typical May in Meadville.” Of those jobs, employment in the leisure and hospitality industry increased by 200.
“Overall, Meadville is still down by about 400 in total jobs over the year,” Fertenbaugh added.
Fertenbaugh described unemployment as a lagging economic indicator based on a monthly survey that does not count those saying they are not looking for work or not employed as part of the labor force.
Crawford County’s manufacturing employment remained at 7,300 jobs in May, the level first reached in March after increasing by 100 from the 7,200 jobs recorded in February, January and December.
Crawford County has a higher dependence on manufacturing than other areas of the country. About 22 percent of all jobs in the county are in manufacturing, while the figure is only about 10 percent statewide and 11 percent nationally. Most Crawford County manufacturing jobs are related to the tooling and machining industry, with local firms supplying tools and parts to larger manufacturing plants.
The county added 100 jobs in May in mining, logging and construction, while the same number were lost in education and health services.
Crawford County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.4 percent for May was lower than Pennsylvania’s rate of 7.5 percent and the national rate of 7.6 percent.
Unemployment rates listed for other counties of northwest Pennsylvania for May were 6.5 percent for Warren, 7.4 percent for Erie, 8.0 percent for Venango, 8.3 percent for Mercer and 10 percent for Forest.
Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.