The unemployment rate dropped in three area counties and increased in two others in January, the state Department of Labor and Industry said.
The jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point in Bedford and Blair counties.
The jobless rate in Bedford County dropped from 8.9 percent in December to 8.7 percent in January after dropping from 9.3 percent in November - a drop of six- tenths of a percentage point in two months.
"We're pleased to see a continued improvement in our unemployment rate, said Bette Slayton, executive director of the Bedford County Development Association. "A number of our employers have told us that they are beginning to see a better economy and are starting to hire again."
Blair County's unemployment rate dropped from 6.8 percent in December to 6.6 percent in January.
Over the year, the county's unemployment rate has dropped two-tenths of a percentage point.
Joe Hurd, president and CEO of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, said he senses things are getting better.
"Gardner Denver has been doing a lot of interviewing. I check the Altoona Mirror classified ads every day, and it looks like a lot of employers are ramping up in several different areas," Hurd said. "Two-tenths of a percent is not world-beating, but we are dipping into the area where we are more comfortable. It is very promising."
Gardner Denver, a worldwide manufacturer of engineered products, last year announced plans to lease a facility in Antis Township to better serve rapid growth in the Marcellus Shale industry.
Blair's unemployment rate remains below Pennsylvania's rate of 7.6 percent and the national rate of 8.3 percent.
Cambria County's unemployment rate dropped from 8.4 percent in December to 8.3 percent in January. Over the year, Cambria's rate, like Blair's, dropped two- tenths of a percentage point.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate increased in both Huntingdon and Clearfield counties.
Huntingdon's rate jumped from 9.1 percent in December to 9.5 percent in January while Clearfield's rate increased from 8.4 percent in December to 8.6 percent in January.
Despite the jump, Amy Wise, executive director of Huntingdon County Business and Industry, remains optimistic.
"It seems like employment opportunities are slowly beginning to pick up with some of our larger organizations adding one to five jobs at a time. There is also some more growth in the health care occupations," Wise said.
The unemployment rate in Centre County held steady at 5.2 percent.
Seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs rose 500 to 76,500 in January, a record high since record-keeping began in 1990. Over the year, jobs were up by 1,200, an increase of 1.6 percent, the department said.
Centre County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, while Philadelphia County has the highest rate at 10.7 percent.