County's jobless rate hits new low -- again

Aug. 30—Crawford County's jobless rate keeps falling to new lows, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The county's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to a record low level of 3.3 percent for July, according to the latest statistics released Tuesday by the state. The 3.3 percent for July beats the previous mark of 3.5 percent set in June.

July marks the fifth time that Crawford County's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is below 4 percent since the department adopted its current unemployment calculation method in January 1976.

At 3.3 percent for July, Crawford County is tied with Columbia, Juniata and Wyoming counties at 29th lowest out of 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

Crawford County's total labor force has remained stable for the past few months, but the number of employed has grown while the number of unemployed has fallen, according to Dave Hand, a state labor analyst.

"There's definitely been a shifting over from unemployed to employed," he said.

A county's total labor force is the number of people who live in a county and are in the workforce either employed or unemployed but may work in another county.

In May of this year, the total labor force was 37,400 with 35,900 employed and 1,500 unemployed.

In June, the county's total labor force was 37,300 with 36,000 employed and 1,300 unemployed.

For July, the county's total labor force was 37,400 with 36,200 employed and 1,200 unemployed.

In July 2022, the county's total labor force also was 37,400, but with only 35,800 employed and 1,600 unemployed.

Crawford County did see a seasonal shift in the total number of jobs based in the county fall by a net of 400 from June to July.

Much of the drop was due to the last of education-related employment in the county ending after the academic year closed down in June, according to Hand.˜

There were 30,000 jobs based in the county in July, down from 30,400 in June.

The education and health services sector saw a drop of 200 jobs, from 6,500 in June to 6,300 in July.

Trade, transportation and utilities jobs fell by 200 as well, from 4,600 in June to 4,400 in July as bus services would have ended.

Local government jobs dropped by 100, from 2,700 in June to 2,600 in June.

However, manufacturing jobs based in the county showed a gain of 100, going from 7,100 in June to 7,200 in July.

The four counties bordering Crawford also saw their seasonal unemployment rates drop in July, when compared with June.

The rates for the other counties, listed July, then June, are: Erie — 4.1 percent, 4.2 percent; Mercer — 3.5, 3.9; Venango — 4.0, 4.8; and Warren — 3.4, 3.7.

Erie County's rate of 4.1 percent for July was a new record low for that county, according to the state.

Pennsylvania's statewide unemployment rate was 3.5 percent for July, a new record low, and down from 3.8 percent in June.

The national unemployment rate was 3.5 percent for July, down from 3.6 percent in June.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at