September unemployment drops for Jefferson and Lewis counties from a year ago

The rate has been under 5 percent since December and has hovered between 4.5 and 4.6 percent since June.By comparison, the state's rate dropped a tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent in September, and the USA rate was down two-tenths to 4.2.The Reading Metropolitan Statistical Area, which makes up all of Berks County, saw its seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs drop by 1,000 to 180,000 during September. The unemployment remained relatively flat from August in Jefferson County when it was 5.4 percent and remained stable from August in Lewis County.

The September unemployment rates for Jefferson and Lewis have dropped compared to the same time past year, but remained relatively flat in St. Lawrence County.

Although the county is in the bottom fifth of the state, steadily declining unemployment numbers have been a trend for years, even when accounting for small peaks and valleys in monthly figures.

Broken down by county, the September rate was 4 percent in Colbert County and 3.4 percent in Lauderdale County, according to the figures.

That number of jobless Lancaster County residents was 400 fewer in September than in August, causing the unemployment rate to dip, the department said.

The unemployment numbers for the state as a whole compare favorably on a national scale. Muhlenberg and Spring townships saw drops of four-tenths to 4.3 and 3.5 percent respectively. It was up 24,400 jobs from 1,230,200 to 1,254,600, or a full two percentage point increase over the prior 12 months.

Lancaster County's unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in September, the state Department of Labor & Industry said Tuesday. Hospitality, trade and transportation, and construction jobs also jumped at least 1 percent. Johnstown had the highest rate, at 6.1 percent.

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