According to the most recent data released by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services on March 21, Ohio has reached the lowest state unemployment rate it has seen since 2008. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.9% in January to 6.5% in February and is down from the 7.3% the state saw twelve months ago.
A total of 86 out of Ohio’s 88 counties saw improvement in unemployment. The remaining two counties saw no change. Williams County dropped from 6.8% in January to 6.2% in February while Fulton County dropped from 8.6% to 8.1%. This moved Williams County from 64th up to 73rd in the state rankings. Despite the improvement in the unemployment rate for Fulton County, that county dropped from 26th to 28th due to the improvement of counties across the state.
Statewide unemployment ranged from a low of 4.3% in Mercer County and a high of 14.2% in Monroe County. Counties with the lowest rates included Mercer (4.3%), Delaware (4.6%), Holmes (4.6%), Auglaize (4.7%), Union (5.2%), Hancock (5.2%), and Franklin (5.4%). Counties with the highest rates included Monroe (14.2%), Meigs (12.3%), Pike (12.3%), and Morgan (12.0%).
Ohio gained a total of 22,000 jobs from January to February and 45,000 over the last twelve months. Areas seeing job growth included manufacturing (+3700); health and educational services (+2600); trade, transportation, and utilities (+2400), professional and business services (+1400), other services (+1000), and information (+200). Losses were seen in construction (-8100), mining and logging (-300), financial activities (-2300), leisure and hospitality (-1200), local government (-3400), and federal government (-600). There was no change in the number of state government employment positions.
Ohioans wishing to learn more about unemployment benefits or who are in search of a job can visit www.ohiomeansjobs.com. The information in this article and the monthly statistical analysis it is based upon are also available at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ocomm.