County unemployment rate hits near six-year low
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:02 AM
VAN WERT — Van Wert County had the lowest unemployment rate in nearly six years in February 2014.
In civilian labor force estimates released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the jobless rate dropped from January’s 6.5 percent to 6.0 percent in February. That is the lowest rate since March 2008 when the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.
In addition, the number of unemployed in the county has hit its lowest mark since November 2007. That number, 800, is a decrease from 900 in January.
The number of employed workers remained at 12,700 in February 2014. By contrast, in November 2007, the estimate of working county residents was 14,600.
Almost the entire state had lowered jobless rates to report for February. In all, 86 or 88 Ohio counties had drop in the county rates with the other two counties reporting unchanged rates for the month.
Around the area, each county had declining rates. Paulding County fell fro 6.8 percent in January to 6.4 percent in February. Mercer County continued to have the lowest county rate in the state, sliding from 4.4 to 4.3 percent. Allen County’s rate fell from 7.6 to 7.0 percent. Auglaize County decreased from 5.0 to 4.7 percent, and Putnam County had a 6.6 percent rate in January drop to 6.3 percent in February.
Van Wert County’s 6.0 jobless rate is comparable to the two neighboring counties in Indiana. Although the Hoosier State has not yet released February numbers, in January Adams County was at 5.8 percent and Allen County was at 6.1 percent.
Across the state Monroe County, once again, reported the highest unemployment rate for February at 14.2 percent, almost a full percentage-point drop from January’s 15.1 percent rate. Also on the high end last month were Meigs and Pike counties at 12.3 percent and Morgan County at 12.0 percent.
Mercer County’s 4.3 percent was the lowest in Ohio for February. Delaware and Holmes counties were at 4.6 percent, Auglaize County hit 4.7 percent, Union and Hancock counties reported 5.2 percent rates, and Franklin County was listed with a 5.4 percent unemployment rate.
The Ohio state unemployment rate for February 2014 dropped four-tenths of a point to 6.5 percent. The national jobless rate rose one-tenth to 6.7 percent in February.