Statistics for the Oil Region for the month of December show some of the lowest unemployment numbers in the area in more than five years.
Labor analysts attribute the improvement, even though it may be temporary, to holiday hires, a boom in new jobs in the health industry and no major layoff announcements during the month.
Venango County’s jobless number for December was 6.7 percent, down from 7.8 percent in November, and the lowest mark for the county since the height of the 2008 recession. About 1,700 Venango County residents were unemployed.
Clarion County also registered an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. That number marked a decline from 7.7 percent compared to November.
Elsewhere, the jobless figure for Crawford County was 6.6 percent, down from 7.6 percent. In Forest County, unemployment in December was registered at 7.8 percent, a drop from 8.4 percent. Warren County’s number was 5.4 percent, down from 6.2 percent. And, in Mercer County, unemployment dipped from 7.9 percent to 7.2 percent.
Statewide, unemployment in December was tallied at 6.9 percent. The national unemployment figure was calculated at 6.7 percent.