Local jobless rate up, labor pool grows

Warren County experienced its first increase in the unemployment rate since August 2012.

The seasonally adjusted rate rose from 6.6 percent in November to 7.0 percent in December, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Center for Workforce Information and Analysis.

The labor force grew from 21,600 in November to 21,700 in December as did the number of people unemployed, rising from 1,400 to 1,500. The number of people employed remained steady at 20,200 for the third month in a row.

According to the Center, there were decreases in the number of jobs from November to December. Total nonfarm, private, goods-producing, service-providing, government and local government jobs all had decreases.

The current seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is consistent with December of 2011, holding at 7.0 percent.

Warren County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the region compared to 9.5 percent in Forest County, 8.8 percent in Oil City, 8.3 percent in Bradford, 8.0 percent in Meadville, and 7.7 percent in Erie County.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate increased from 7.8 percent in November to 7.9 percent in December. The national unemployment rate increased as well, rising from 7.7 percent in November to 7.8 percent in December.