The business climate in Chester County is good, and that bodes well for all residents of the county.

There have been layoffs around the country, and there have been a few in Chester County, but overall, county employment numbers are on the rise, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.

The county added 3,500 new jobs and lost 500, leaving the unemployment rate for Chester County at 3 percent.

Nationally, unemployment hit a nine-year peak last month.

There are many factors contributing to the good news.

We believe one is the lowering of the state's corporate tax by Gov. Ridge. Pennsylvania had one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country until Ridge had it lowered to below 10 percent.

Ridge also worked for the elimination of the unemployment compensation tax, which he projects will save businesses $20 million next year.

Chester County has also seen an exodus of twenty-somethings over the past few years, which would, by default, lead to lower unemployment figures.

However, regardless of what is contributing to the steady employment in the county, the business community should be encouraged to keep the trend going.

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