VAN WERT — Unemployment in Ohio dropped again in March according to a new report released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The new state rate is 6.1 percent. The March 2014 rate is the lowest for the state of Ohio since April 2008 when the rate hit 5.9 percent.

The jobless rate for Van Wert County for March will not be released until Tuesday, but the county rate hit a nearly seven-year low in February at 6.0 percent. Friday’s announcement of a lowered state rate likely means good news for the Van Wert County rate, but occasionally county statistics do not follow the same trends.

The 6.1 percent state rate in March is down from February’s 6.5 percent figure in the Buckeye State. The number of unemployed workers was also down — from 377,000 in February to 353,000 in March.

The decrease of 24,000 unemployed workers for the month goes hand-in-hand with the slight increase of 600 workers on the job. The total employment figure in the state for March was 5,282,900.

The U.S. unemployment rate was reported at 6.7 percent for March, unchanged from February.

The latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS shows a loss of 3,400 manufacturing jobs in the state in March along with 4,900 fewer in trade, transportation and utilities. Increases were seen in 4,600 more construction jobs, 4,800 more in leisure and hospitality, 3,200 additional jobs in professional and business services and 2,400 more in educational and health services. Local government jobs were down by 3,500 for the month.

In the last 12 months, manufacturing jobs are up by 9,800 jobs, leisure and hospitality jobs have increased by 11,000 and educational and health services positions added 10,900 positions.