VAN WERT — Not since November of 2006 has the Van Wert County unemployment rate been this low. Civilian labor force estimates released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services showed the county jobless rate at only 4.6 percent.

Not that the employment situation is the same today as in 2006. At that time, estimates showed 14,800 residents at work while that number is just 12,900 today, showing the loss of many industrial positions in the past seven to eight years in this county. The number of unemployed in April in Van Wert County is 600 compared to 700 in the 2006 estimate.

The April 2014 figure of 4.6 percent is a nearly one percentage point drop from March’s 5.5 percent and nearly two percentage points in the past two months. In January 2014, the county unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.

Rates were down all around the area in April. Paulding County’s rate fell a full point to 4.6 percent. In Allen County the rate slipped to 5.4 percent, A half-point drop in the estimate for Auglaize County places that rate at just 3.6 percent. In Putnam County, the rate fell over a full point to 4.4 percent. And the lowest county rate in Ohio remained in Mercer County with 3.0 percent, the lowest estimated rate in that county since 1998.

In Van Wert County, the estimates showed 200 fewer unemployed workers and 200 more employed workers in April as compared to March.
Other low county rates were 3.4 percent in Holmes County, 3.8 percent in Delaware County, 3.8 percent in Union County, and 4.0 percent in Hancock County.

The highest county unemployment rates were in Monroe County (10.7 percent), Pike County (9.0 percent), Morgan County (8.6 percent), and Meigs County (8.5 percent). Rates in all 88 Ohio counties decreased in April.

Rates fell across the state line in Indiana as well. In Adams County, the county rate dropped from 5.7 in March to 4.5 in April on 163 fewer unemployed and 287 more workers on the job. In Allen County, Indiana the 5.8 percent rate in March slid to 5.0 percent in April on 1,266 fewer unemployed and 2,267 more on the job.

Indiana’s state jobless rate fell two-tenths from 5.9 to 5.7 percent in April. In Ohio unemployment was down four-tenths to tie the Hoosier State at 5.7 percent.