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County unemployment rate increases

LOCK HAVEN — Clinton County’s unemployment rate increased for the second consecutive month, according to information released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor & Industry.

The February rate for the county was 7.7%, up from the 7.1% reading in January. After eight months of decreases from a pandemic high of 16.6% in April 2020, the rate has increased more than one point over the last two months.

The February numbers show an estimated 1,400 people out of work, compared to 1,200 in January. One year ago in February 2020, the unemployment rate was 5.9% and 1,100 were estimated to be out of work in Clinton County.

Clinton County’s February rate of 7.7% was no. 38 out of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties. Adams, Chester and Montour counties tied for the best rate at 5.1%, while Centre was fifth at 5.6%. Lycoming tied for no. 33 at 7.6%. Philadelphia County’s 11.2% was the highest of the 67 counties. The state was 7.3%.

In recent weekly information distributed by the state, Clinton County had 93 residents file for unemployment insurance for the week ending March 27, up about 20 from the week before. The continued case number fell more than 100 to 757. Since the beginning of the year, 404 county residents have had unemployment benefits expire.

“The increased numbers are a bit concerning, but some of the increase is likely due to seasonal layoffs,” said Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan. “We seem to have more than our fair share of open positions at many businesses, so hopefully they can find employees soon, and the unemployment numbers will go down.”

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