Despite the increase in Ohio’s unemployment rate, which rose from 7.2% to 7.3% from July to August, both Williams and Fulton counties saw a decrease in their number of unemployed. Williams County fell almost a full percent, moving from 7.9% in July to 7.0% in August. Likewise, Fulton County also fell almost a full percent, moving from 8.2% in July to 7.3% in August. Despite the decreases in both Williams and Fulton Counties, both have seen their placements in the state rankings fall. Williams County has dropped from 59th to 43rd and Fulton County from 38th to 32nd over the last two months.
The trend of falling county rates is not unique to Williams and Fulton County. Even with the rise in the state’s unemployment rate, 86 of Ohio’s 88 counties saw their unemployment rates lower over the past month. All in all five counties saw unemployment rates at 5.5% or less. Mercer continues to enjoy the state’s lowest unemployment rate of 4.3%. Other counties experiencing low rates include Holmes (4.6%), Delaware (5.1%), Auglaize (5.2%), Georgia (5.5%), and Union (5.5%). In comparison seven counties saw rates at or over 10.0%. Pike County continues to struggle at 12.0%. Other counties experiencing high rates include Meigs (11.8%), Scioto (10.8%), Adams (10.3%), Morgan (10.2%), Jefferson (10.0%), and Monroe (10.0%).
With rates county rates continuing to rise and fall as they have over the last several months, it might seem difficult to say whether the economy is improving or worsening. It should, however, be pointed out that the overall unemployment rate for the state of Ohio has remained fairly stagnant, having hovered right around 7.2% for the better part of the year. The look back to where rates were one year ago might offer a more complete picture of where the economy is at. Unemployment rates across the area, the same as in the state and across the nation, have remained fairly stagnant across the course of the year. Williams County has seen a decrease over the last year, having fallen from 7.4% to 7.0%. However, Fulton County has seen an almost equal increase in unemployment, having risen from 6.8% to 7.3%.
Statistical summaries this article is based upon can be found at http://jfs.ohio.gov/RELEASES/unemp/201309/index.stm. Readers looking for employment or to learn more about unemployment benefits and training programs are also encouraged to visit www.ohiomeansjobs.com
Chelsie Firestone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org