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Huron Co. jobless rate falls to 8 percent, below national average

Scott Seitz • Sep 28, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Huron County's unemployment rate fell to 8 percent in August.

That number was down from 10.3 percent in July and 9.8 percent in August 2011.

In Huron County, there are 27,700 members of the workforce, with 25,500 employed, leaving 2,200 without a job, according to figures released this week by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).

"It's certainly encouraging," Huron County Commissioner Larry Silcox said. "That's closer to the national average, which I think is around 8 percent."

The U.S. unemployment rate for August was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in July, and down from 9.1 percent in August 2011.

Ohio's unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in August, unchanged from July, according to the ODJFS. Ohio's nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased 2,000 over the month from the revised 5,189,600 in July to 5,187,600 in August.

The new 8-percent figure for Huron County leaves it tied for 19th-highest among the state's 88 counties.

Erie County was at 5.5 percent, making it the eighth-lowest in the state.

"I like to see that, but yesterday we got the numbers in Huron County and there still were 1,000 people who went through the Job Store," Silcox said. "I know across the county there are jobs available."

Silcox said he's concerned when December arrives because many residents will exhaust their unemployment benefits then.

"There are also a number of construction jobs in the county and we're coming up on the end of the outdoor season," he said.

Silcox said anyone needing a job or a better job should go to the Job Store at Job and Family Services.

"I think it's a great tool," he said. "If you need help with a resume they can teach you that.

"It's absolutely amazing," Silcox added. "They had a job fair there, and four people were hired right on the spot. I know the employers were very pleased with the job fair. In the first hour, 90 people went through there."

Commissioner Gary Bauer also said he was happy to see the numbers.

"I know we've bid a couple projects in the county in the last three or four weeks and we haven't got the same number of people bidding," Bauer said. "And the ones that did bid, some couldn't do the work as soon as we needed it."

One of the projects was work at the retention pond at the transfer station.

"So I do know with less bidders, there is some work out there for contractors," Bauer said.

Bauer is often skeptical of the unemployment figures, which he said are calculated by a formula.

ODJFS officials said ll data cited are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor. Data sources include current population survey (U.S. data); current employment statistics program (nonagricultural wage and salary employment data); and local area unemployment statistics program (Ohio unemployment rates).

"If they really dropped those (2.3) percentage points, that's marvelous, really good," he said.

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