The unemployment rate in Wayne County measured in August 2008 rose to 5.5 percent, up 8/10th of a percent from the prior month. Compared to August of last year, the jobless rate increased by 1.3 percent. In round numbers, there were an estimated 300 more people out of work this August than last.


The unemployment rate in Wayne County measured in August 2008 rose to 5.5 percent, up 8/10th of a percent from the prior month. Compared to August of last year, the jobless rate increased by 1.3 percent. In round numbers, there were an estimated 300 more people out of work this August than last.
This trend is reflective of the nationwide financial trials, said Joseph Merlina, Industry and Business Analyst with the  Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The August figures, just released, show a residual affect of the collapse and government bailout of the giant investment bank, Bear Stearns Companies Inc., earlier this year. “Mom and Pop” stores, he said, are affected by the nervousness this creates, and less people are hired. The subsequent collapse of insurer AIG, and bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the colossal investment bank Merrill Lynch, sent further ripples in the economy. Merlina said these affects would show up in the September unemployment report.
October’s data is expected to show further pressure on the economy, he cautioned, given the September 29th announcement of the sale of Wachovia Corp. to Citigroup.
 The rate for the most northeastern county in the state was still better than the statewide jobless rate of 5.8 percent and the nation as a whole, which stood at 6.1 percent. Wayne County’s rate was lower than the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market area, 6.7 percent and beat Pike County, which was 6.7 percent. Wayne matched Susquehanna County’s rate.
Last year’s rate for August in Wayne County was 4.2 percent. At that time, there was a (seasonally adjusted) labor pool of 25,300 and 1,100 people without work.
With numbers rounded to the nearest hundred, the (seasonally adjusted) civilian labor force in Wayne County in August 2008 numbered 26,000; there were 24,600 people employed and 1,400 unemployed. During July, when the rate was 4.8 percent, the labor pool stood at 25,900 with 1,300 people out of work.
Merlina reminded that despite 5.5 percent unemployment in Wayne County, there was still 94.5 percent of the labor force at work. “That’s a big number,” he said.
The rate has been higher than this in the last 10 years. In October 1998 the jobless percentage stood at 5.8, the highest in this period.
The labor pool figures reflect workers living in Wayne County but do not show where they may be working.  A number of those unemployed could have lost their jobs out of the local area and not necessarily in Wayne County, remarked Merlina.
The Department of Labor & Industry relies on data sent in by employers who pay unemployment compensation tax.
Information on increase or decrease in particular fields of employment is based on actual Wayne County employers and is not based on where there employers come from. These numbers are rounded to the nearest hundred.
During August, there were 1,900 jobs in construction, natural resources and mining  (which includes quarry work). This was 100 more than in this past July and 200 more than in August 2007.
Trade, transportation and utilities included 3,900 jobs, matching July and 200 more than the year before. Educational and health services totaled 2,400 which was 100 less than in July 2008 and 200 less than in August 2007.
Local government jobs totaled 1,500. The same figure as it was in both July of this year and August of last.