The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

March 23, 2013

Mercer County’s jobless rate surges to 9.9 percent

MERCER COUNTY — Area layoffs, a rise in the labor force and seasonal factors such as retailers trimming staff after the holidays resulted in Mercer County’s unemployment rate surging to 9.9 percent in January, well above December’s 8.3 percent rate.

While January’s results are preliminary and may be revised up or down when final results are in next month, historically, those revisions don’t result in dramatic changes. December’s rate could also change as it is the month the state completes an overall yearly record update which should be finished in April.

January’s local jobless rate shoots the county above the national 7.9 percent rate and the state’s 8.2 percent rate.

Mercer County’s jobless rate ranked 51st among the state’s 67 counties in terms of the best rate, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry which released unemployment figures on Friday.

January was a rough month for most of the state as 60 of the 67 counties saw unemployment rate increases with two counties remaining flat and only five down. The five counties recording a drop only saw a slight one-tenth of a percent decrease.

Wheatland Tube Co. had some layoffs in January and the  closing of the New Castle Youth Development Center in Shenango Township, Lawrence County, also had an impact among Mercer County residents employed there.

The 100-bed center, located on Frew Mill Road, was operated by the state and employed 223, with around 33 of those being Mercer County residents. The state said by closing the center because it could save $73 million over five years. It was estimated it cost $725 a day per child to be housed at the center.  

Figures show the civilian labor force was 54,800 in January, up from December’s 53,700. The number of employed decreased from 49,500 to 49,00 over the same period.

Those unemployed grew to 5,800 in January from December’s 4,200.

Retail trade fell 400 jobs in January from December while education and health services dropped by 800 jobs, largely due to local colleges still reopening after the holidays.

Cameron County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 12.8 percent while Centre had the lowest at 5.9 percent.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 24, 2014

    April 24, 2014

  • Bus cameras will be listening, too

    Hermitage School District is taking advantage of a recently enacted exemption to the state’s wiretap law in allowing officials to turn on the audio recording capability on school bus and vehicle video cameras.

    April 24, 2014

  • Union, city OK 4-year contract

    Hermitage’s nonuniformed employees have a new four-year contract that gives them average pay hikes of 2.5 percent a year and the opportunity to live outside the city limits, while allowing administrators more flexibility in scheduling.

    April 24, 2014

  • 2 principals to be hired

    Sharpsville Area school directors needed a shove to make a decision but the board voted Tuesday to interview candidates and hire two principals for 2014-15.

    April 24, 2014

  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo