By Konstantine Fekos
Crawford County’s unemployment rate improved in September, dropping to 7.7 percent, a difference of one-tenth of a percentage point from August’s monthly figure — while rates in surrounding counties fluctuated.
The statistics were released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The department announced the September data later than normal because of commonwealth office closures Monday and Tuesday, due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Crawford County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.7 for September is also below the 7.8 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate recorded one year earlier, in September 2011.
Crawford County saw the total number of jobs in the service sector rise by 1,300 between August and September from 23,300 to 24,600. A net loss of 100 was reported in the manufacturing sector from 6,900 to 6,800.
Trade, transportation and utilities service employment saw a gain of 300, from 4,600 to 4,900 while local government is up 900, from 2,700 to 3,600, according to reports.
Education and health services saw an increase of 200, from 6,700 to 6,900.
The majority of local employment fits into the manufacturing, health services, trade and government sectors, according to the state.
Crawford County’s total seasonally adjusted labor force for September rose by 100 to 43,700, with 40,300 employed and 3,400 unemployed. In August, the total seasonally adjusted labor force was 43,600 with 40,200 employed and 3,400 unemployed, according to the latest statistics.
Crawford County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.7 percent is better than both Pennsylvania’s 8.2 percent rate and the nation’s 7.8 percent rate for September.
Unemployment rates in four other counties in northwestern Pennsylvania either rose or fell from the previous month.
The rates for the other counties, listed September, then August were: Erie, 7.7, 7.6; Venango, 8.2, 8.1; Warren, 7.1, 7.4; and Mercer, 8.7, 8.9.
Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com.