By Michael Roknick
Herald Business Editor
MERCER COUNTY —
Mercer County’s unemployment rate in March was 8.5 percent, down slightly from 8.6 percent in February.
The dip was mainly due to a mild drop in the labor force and the number of unemployed.
However the local jobless rate continued to remain above the state’s 7.9 percent rate and the national 7.6 percent rate.
Figures released by the state Department of Labor and Industry on Tuesday are preliminary and may be revised next month as more information is received.
Figures for March show the civilian labor force was 54,100, down 300 from February while the number of employed dipped to 49,500, down 200 over the same period.
The number of unemployed residents living in the county was 4,600 in March, down 100 from February.
Goods-producing jobs gained 100 jobs in March with the increase seen in the mining, logging and construction sector.
Service-producing saw a 500 job gain with 100 job increases seen in retail, financial, professional and business services and a 200 job rise in leisure and hospitality.
Surrounding counties unemployment rates were:
• Butler 6.3 percent
• Crawford 7.2 percent
• Lawrence 8 percent
• Venango 7.7 percent.