By Michael Roknick
Herald Business Editor
MERCER COUNTY —
Mercer County’s jobless rate jumped to 8.5 percent in August from the July 7.6 percent rate because of an increase in the number of unemployed and a drop in employment rolls.
The jobless figures, released by the state Department of Labor and Industry on Tuesday, show the county’s rate was above the national 7.3 percent rate and state 7.7 percent rate.
A year ago the county’s jobless rate stood at 8.9 percent.
Figures for August show the labor force was 54,500 with 49,00 employed, compared with the respective July figures of 54,400 and 50,300.
The number of unemployed swelled to 4,700 in August from 4,100 in July.
Goods-producing jobs dipped by 100 in August with the manufacturing sector absorbing all of that loss.
Service-providing also saw a 100-jobs dip with local government losing 200 coupled with a 100-jobs gain in leisure and hospitality.
All surrounding counties had a lower jobless rate than Mercer County. Rates for those county’s in August were:
• Lawrence, 8.1
• Butler, 6.5
• Crawford, 7.3
• Venango, 7.7 percent