Somerset County jobless rate creeps lower in October

November 29, 2018

Somerset County’s unemployment rate fell slightly in October to 5.2 percent.

The rate was 5.3 percent in September, 5 percent in August and 5.8 percent in October 2017, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, which released new figures Wednesday.

About 33,000 county residents were working or actively seeking employment in October. Of that number, 31,300 had jobs and 1,700 were unemployed. The county’s labor force included about 5,000 more people five years ago, when the unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, according to the department.

At 5.2 percent, Somerset County was tied with five other counties for the state’s seventh-highest unemployment rate. The rankings were bookended by Chester and Cumberland counties at 3.3 percent and Forest County at 6.4 percent. The state and national rates were 4.1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Somerset County added a net total of about 100 nonfarm jobs during the month. The biggest gainer was local government. No other job sector showed a statistically significant change, according to the department, which rounds job figures to the nearest hundred but uses unrounded data to compile the unemployment rate.

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