By Keith Gushard
Crawford County’s unemployment rate was unchanged in August — holding at 7.8 percent while the rates in four surrounding counties of northwest Pennsylvania all rose in August, according to statistics released this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and industry.
The county’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.8 percent for August is below the 8.1 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate recorded in August 2011.
Crawford County saw the number of jobs in the service sector rise by 200 between July and August from 23,100 to 23,300. Gains of 100 were reported in both the professional and business services sector from 2,100 to 2,200; and the local government sector from 2,600 to 2,700.
However, the number of manufacturing jobs in the county slipped by 100 to 6,900, down from the 7,000 mark in July. It’s the first time the figure had changed since March.
Crawford County has a higher dependence on manufacturing than other areas of the country. About 17 percent of all jobs in the county are related to manufacturing, while only about 12 percent are statewide and 11 percent nationally.
Most of the local manufacturing jobs are with the tooling and machining industry, with local firms supplying tools, equipment and other parts to major manufacturers.
Crawford County’s total seasonally adjusted labor force for August shrank by 300 to 43,600, with 40,200 employed and 3,400 unemployed, according to the state. In July, the total seasonally adjusted labor force was 43,900 with 40,500 employed and 3,400 unemployed, according to the latest statistics.
Crawford County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.8 percent was lower than 8.1 percent rate for both Pennsylvania and the nation in August, according to the state.
Unemployment figures in the other four counties in northwest Pennsylvania went higher in August.
The rates for the other counties, listed August, then July, were: Erie, 7.6, 7.4; Mercer, 8.9, 8.4; Venango, 8.1, 7.7; and Warren, 7.4, 7.0.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.