Huron County's jobless rate decreased to 11.6 percent in February, but its ranking among Ohio's 88 counties rose in that dubious category.
Of the estimated 25,700 people in the county's workforce, 3,000 are out of work, according to statistics released recently by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
That 11.6 percent figure is the fifth-worst in the state and the highest rate of any county north, east or west of Columbus. Only three southeast counties near the West Virginia border and Pike County in southwest Ohio had unemployment rates higher than Huron County last month.
In January, Huron County's jobless rate shot up to 12.4 percent in January, which ranked as the sixth-highest figure in the state. In December 2013, the county had the state's eighth-worst rate at 10.3 percent.
Still, the current jobless rate for Huron County is nearly two percentage points lower than February 2013, when the unemployment rate here was 13.5 percent.
Among the state's 88 counties, February 2014 unemployment rates ranged from a low of 4.3 percent in Mercer County to a high of 14.2 percent in Monroe County. Rates decreased in 86 counties and stayed even in two counties.
Seven counties had unemployment rates below 5.5 percent in February. The counties with the lowest rates, other than Mercer were: Delaware and Holmes, 4.6 percent; Auglaize 4.7 percent; Union and Hancock, 5.2 percent; and Franklin, 5.4 percent.
Four counties had unemployment rates at or above 12 percent in January. The counties with the highest rates, other than Monroe were: Meigs and Pike, 12.3 percent; and Morgan, 12.0 percent.
Ohio's unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in February 2014, down from 6.9 percent in January, according to the ODJFS. Ohio's nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased 4,600 over the month, from a revised 5,284,600 in January to 5,280,000 in February.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in February was 377,000, down 18,000 from 395,000 in January. The number of unemployed has decreased by 44,000 in the past 12 months from 421,000. The February unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.3 percent in February 2013.
The U.S. unemployment rate for February was 6.7 percent, up from 6.6 percent in January but down from 7.7 percent in February 2013.
Ohio's nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased 4,600 from a revised 5,284,600 in January to 5,280,000 in February, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.
Goods-producing industries, at 871,200, lost 4,700 jobs. Losses in construction (-8,100) and mining and logging (-300) were partially offset by gains in manufacturing (+3,700). The private service-providing sector, at 3,655,500, increased 4,100. Job gains in educational and health services (+2,600), trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,400), professional and business services (+1,400), other services (+1,000), and information (+200) exceeded job losses in financial activities (-2,300) and leisure and hospitality (-1,200). Government, at 753,300, decreased 4,000 in local government (-3,400) and federal government (-600). State government employment was unchanged.
From February 2013 to February 2014, nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 50,000. Goods-producing industries gained 15,300 jobs. Manufacturing added 12,800 jobs in durable goods (+11,400) and non-durable goods (+1,400). Construction increased 1,400, and mining and logging grew 1,100. The private service-providing sector added 40,600 jobs over the year. Employment increased in professional and business services (+22,500), educational and health services (+8,300), leisure and hospitality (+6,300), trade, transportation, and utilities (+6,100), and other services (+2,200). Over-the-year employment declines occurred in financial activities (-2,800) and information (-2,000). Government lost 5,900 jobs throughout state (-2,400), federal (-2,200), and local (-1,300) government.
All 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).