The unemployment rate dropped in five area counties and increased in one in February, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.
Bedford County experienced the biggest improvement, dropping from 8.7 percent in January to 8.1 percent in February.
"This trend indicates that we're going in the right direction. It's a result of the efforts of dozens of Bedford County businesses who are investing in our community and creating new jobs in the process," said Bette Slayton, executive director of the Bedford County Development Association.
The jobless rate dropped half a percentage point in Huntingdon County, falling from 9.4 percent in January to 8.9 percent in February while the jobless rate dropped four-tenths of a percentage point in Clearfield County from 8.6 percent in January to 8.2 percent in February, the department said.
Amy Wise, executive director of Huntingdon County Business and Industry, said she is not sure of the reason for the significant drop in the unemployment rate.
"There are numerous job postings on the CareerLink website for part-time and full-time work, so my best guess would be that employers are slowly adding positions one or two at a time," Wise said. "Also of concern is the number of folks who are exhausting their [unemployment compensation] benefits and still have not found work. Those folks will positively impact the statistics but cannot be attributed to good news quite yet."
Cambria and Blair counties saw slight decreases, with the unemployment rate dropping from 8.3 percent in January to 8.1 percent in February in Cambria and from 6.6 percent in January to 6.5 percent in February in Blair.
Blair County's rate is the county's lowest since January 2009 and remains below the Pennsylvania rate of 7.6 percent and the national rate of 8.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate increased in Centre County rising from 5.2 percent in January to 5.5 percent in February, the department said.
Centre County lost its distinction of having the lowest unemployment rate of Pennsylvania's 67 counties to Bradford County, which now has a jobless rate of 5.1 percent.