The unemployment rate dropped in four area counties and increased in two others in April, the state Department of Labor and Industry said.
The biggest drop was in Huntingdon County where the unemployment rate decreased from 9.3 percent in March to 9.1 percent in April, the department said.
The jobless rate dropped one tenth of 1 percent in Blair County from 6.5 percent to 6.4 percent, marking the fifth decline out of the last six months.
The local unemployment rate remains below the Pennsylvania rate of 7.5 percent and the national rate of 9.0 percent.
The unemployment rate also dropped by 0.1 percent in Bedford County, from 9.0 percent to 8.9 percent and in Clearfield County, from 8.6 percent to 8.5 percent.
The jobless rate increased from 5.2 percent to 5.5 percent in Centre County, but the rate is down 0.9 percent over the year, the department said.
David Wise, president and CEO of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, said he was a bit surprised by the numbers.
"I am hearing we are still a little soft in the construction of new homes, but with the summer season coming and heavy construction and roadwork season, we could expect to see the May numbers going back the other way," Wise said.
Centre County's rate remains the second lowest in Pennsylvania behind Bradford County's 5.1 percent while Cameron County has the highest rate at 11.2 percent.
The unemployment rate in Bradford County, in northcentral Pennsylvania, has dropped from 10.4 percent a year ago to 5.2 percent today, a result of the Marcellus Shale expansion, department Industry and Business Analyst Steven Zellers said.
The unemployment rate also increased in Cambria County from 8.0 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April, the department said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.