Even with all of the seasonal job opportunities available, all area counties reported higher unemployment numbers in December.
The expected drop in employment in Venango County due to layoffs at Joy Global and the closing of the PNC Call Center in Franklin resulted in the county’s jobless number rising from 7.8 percent in November to 8.8 percent, the highest figure in 26 months. Unemployment had slipped slightly in November from 8.1 percent in October.
In Clarion County, the unemployment number for December climbed from 8.9 percent to 9.7 percent, highest in the region. The lowest regional jobless number was seven percent, registered in Warren County, although that figure was an increase from 6.6 percent in November.
In Crawford County, unemployment rose from 7.5 percent to eight percent. Forest County saw their percentage of jobless workers climb from 9.1 percent to 9.5 percent. In Mercer County, unemployment grew slightly from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.
The numbers compare to a 7.9 percent unemployment rate statewide, and a 7.8 percent nationwide figure in December.