Stress Index-Unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcy by CountyAn index which combines unemployment, house foreclosure rates and bankruptcies on a county by county basis is available from the Associated Press. Find out about your county.
Averages never tell the entire story. Three simple factors are being used to measure the overall economic stress on a county by county basis for every county in the U.S. In Pennsylvania, unemployment ranges from a low of 6.4% to 16.5%.
The index combines the uneployment rate, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, foreclosures as tracked by Realty Trac and bankruptcies as accessed by pubilc access to electronic records. These create what AP classifies as a "Stress Index." For those into baseball, this is similiar to an individual batter's slugging percentage or on base percentage, except is is measuring economic hardship and misery.
To give our readers a quick summary of this, we are including 10 counties, which include the ones with the highest and lowest values.
Allegehny County's unemployment rate is 7.3%, foreclosures are .94 and bankruptcy is .84. The overall stress index is 8.94.
Chester County's unemployment rate is 6.4%, the lowest in the state. Foreclosures were .29 and bankruptcy is .44. The overall stress index is 7.08.
Cameron County's unemployment has the highest rate in the state at 16.5%. Foreclosures were remarkably low, at .02 and bankruptcy at .94. The overall stress index is 17.27.
Dauphin County's unemployment rate sits at 8.1%, foreclosures at .57, bankruptcy at .77 and the overall stress index is 9.33.
Elk County's unemployment is reported at 12.2%, foreclosures at .33 and bankruptcies at .64. The stress index sits at 13.05.
Erie County's unemployment rate is 9.4%, foreclosures aat .30 and bankruptcies at .79. The overall stress rate is 10.39.
Lehigh County's unemployment rate sits at 9.3%, foreclosures at .45 and bankruptcies at .94. The overall stress index sits at 12.83.
Mercer County's unemployment rate is 11.6%, foreclosures at .45 and bankruptcies are .94. The overall stress index sits at 12.83.
Montgomery County's unemployment rate sits at 6.9%, foreclosures at .71 and bankruptcies at .48. The overall stress index sits at 8.01.
Wayne County's unemployment rate sits at 7.0%, foreclosures at .04 and bankruptcies sit at .93. The overall stress index sits at 7.90.
Not surprisingly, rural counties have higher rates of unemployment and a higher (worse) stress index. There are some suprises, like Wayne County, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the State.
To understand the numbers more clearly, click on the link below.