“The economy’s not better until my economy is better,” has become a favorite quote for many, who despite having read several reports that unemployment rates are falling, are not seeing the relief that the numbers would seem to indicate. Readers of The Village Reporter have provided several responses on why the improving U.S., state, and local numbers have not translated into economic relief for individuals and families. Some have speculated a manipulated formula; others that unemployment benefits have simply ran out for many. Still others point out that many of the job gains have been at the part-time status, leaving the employed lacking in needed benefits, or in positions where the worker is simply under-employed for their individual education or experience level.
Despite all of these factors, the most recent data released by the Oho Department of Jobs and Family Services continues to show the trend of an improved economy, with the state-wide unemployment rate falling from 5.7 in April to 5.5 in May, down from 7.4 one year ago.
Of Ohio’s 88 counties, 55 saw improved rates while 13 rates saw rates rise. The remaining 20 counties’ rates remained unchanged. Locally, Fulton County’s unemployment rate saw once again saw improvement, dropping from 5.7% to 5.1% from April to May. Williams County also saw slight improvement, dropping from 5.1% to 5.0% in the same time frame. In terms of state wide rankings, Williams County dropped from 53rd to 51st while Fulton County improved from 35th to 48th. The state rankings rank counties 1st through 88th with the highest unemployment rate ranked first. The fall in ranking for Williams County is due to improvement in other counties within the state.
Statewide, unemployment ranged from a low of 3.0% in Mercer County to a high of 10.8% in Monroe County. Counties with the lowest rates included Mercer (3.0%), Holmes (3.5%) Auglaize (3.6%), Delaware (3.7%), Union (3.9%), and Hancock (4.0%). Counties with the highest rates included Monroe (10.8%), Pike (8.4%), Meigs (7.9%), Scioto (7.7%), Morgan (7.7%), and Jefferson (7.5%).
The total number of Ohioans unemployed decreased 11,000 from 328,000 in March to 317,000 in May. Areas seeing job growth over the last month included professional and business services (+6000); manufacturing (+2900); state government (+1700); trade, transportation, and utilities (+1300); other services (+900); financial activities (+400); information (+200); and mining and logging (+100). Areas seeing decline included leisure and hospitality (-4300); construction (-3600); local government (-1600); education and health services (-900); and federal government (-200).
The U.S unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3 from April to May and is down from 7.5 one year ago.
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.