VAN WERT — The jobless rate in Van Wert County hit its lowest mark since November of 2007 last month, falling to 5.5 percent from 6.0 percent in February. The drop was not a huge surprise after the Ohio Department of Job and Family Servies released the state unemployment rate last week, showing a six-year low of 5.9 percent across the Buckeye State. Rate decreases were reported all across the area with both Paulding and Putnam counties seeing county rate fall to 5.6 percent, Allen County slipped to 6.3 percent, Auglaize County faded to just 4.2 percent, and Mercer County hitting a state-low 3.7 percent in March.

In Van Wert County, the report shows an estimated 700 workers on unemployment, down from 800 in February, and 12,800 people working, up 100 from the previous month. The figures were not all positive though. The total labor force in the county was listed as 13,500. The last time the unemployment rate was this low, the labor force was listed as 15,500.

Van Wert County is ranked at 74th-highest jobless rate of Ohio’s 88 counties. The lowest county rates in the state belong to Auglaize (4.2 percent), Delaware and Holmes counties (4.1 percent percent), and Mercer County (3.7 percent).

The highest rate in the state for the fifth straight month was found in Monroe County (12.5 percent), followed by Pike and, Morgan, Counties (10.8 percent), Huron County (10.4 percent), then Ottawa and Meigs counties at 10.2 percent).

Across the state line, the Indiana state unemployment rate dropped two-tenths to 5.9 percent. In Adams County, Indiana, the rate fell from 6.0 percent in February to 5.7 percent in March. In Allen County, Indiana, the rate slipped from February’s 6.3 percent to March’s 5.8 percent. Unemployment in Michigan fell two-tenths to 7.5 percent. In Illinios the rate dropped three-tenths to 8.4 percent. WHile Kentucky saw its rate rise from 7.8 percent in February to 7.9 percent in March.

The U.S. National unemployment rate remained steady in March at 6.7 percent.