Clinton County sees lowest unemployment rate in 20 years

LOCK HAVEN — Clinton County is seeing record employment.

The county’s jobless rate for April 2019 dropped to 4.4 percent, the lowest since January of 2000, when it was 3.8 percent, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

County Economic Partnership President and CEO Mike Flanagan reported the good news at Thursday night’s commissioner’s meeting.

He said about 800 county residents were listed as being out of work in April.

“The local economy continues to do well and we are certainly glad to see that we have the lowest rate in almost 20 years,” Flanagan said. “It takes a lot of people rowing in the same direction, and we have that here. We also realize that there is no finish line in this type of work, and we will continue to try our best to make sure that everyone that wants a job has employment opportunities in our county.”

According to Flanagan, the third building and machine at First Quality Tissue is expected to begin production phase early next year.

Up to 184 people have been or will be hired as a result of the large expansion, he said.

“The investment made by these companies and others is extremely appreciated and helps to create and, just as importantly, retain jobs,” he said. “And there are hundreds of construction workers at the FQ Tissue site that are here in our community, utilizing our hotels and eating in our restaurants, which is a very positive domino effect.”

“It is great how it is all coming together,” added Commissioner Jeff Snyder.

Flanagan also noted that chemical manufacturer Croda Inc.’s $30 million expansion just started, and its neighbor, Avery Dennison, is planning a $23 million expansion.

The SEDA-COG Joint Rail authority was recently in the area to tour those rail-served sites, as well as WSP Solvay in Castanea, he said.

Renovo Energy Center continues to seek funding for a proposed natural gas-fired, electric generating station at the Renovo Industrial Park, and a sale is pending of three of the warehouses and some land at the Woolrich Inc. complex, he reported.