July 23, 2016

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County labor force and jobless rate grew in January

Medina County’s labor force grew in January — breaking a string of six months of declines.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the total number of residents with jobs declined to 87,400, down from 88,000 in December and 89,000 in January 2012.

More people looking for fewer jobs meant the county’s unemployment rate in January jumped to 7.5 percent, up from 6.0 percent in December and 7.2 percent in January 2012, according to the latest state statistics, released Tuesday.

Medina County wasn’t alone — the January jobless rate was up in all 88 Ohio counties.

Tuesday’s report estimated about 7,100 Medina County residents are unemployed. Statewide, there are 479,000 jobless.

The county’s labor force — the combined total number of residents employed or looking for work — stood at 94,500 in January.

While higher than the 93,200 reported in December, the new labor force estimate is less than the total of 95,900 reported a year ago, in January 2012.

The year-over-year comparison is considered more accurate because the county-level employment numbers are not seasonally adjusted and employment usually declines every January, after the holiday retail season and with the onset of winter weather.

The difference can be seen the statewide figures, which are reported both ways. Ohio’s unadjusted jobless rate was 8.4 percent — up from 6.6 percent in December. The state’s adjusted rate was only 7 percent, compared to 6.7 percent in December.

Medina County’s jobless rate remains among the lowest in the state, tying for 12th best. Last month, the county had the 10th best unemployment rate.

Among the state’s 88 counties, January unemployment rates ranged from 5.3 percent in Mercer County to 15.3 percent in Pike County.

In addition to Mercer and Medina County, seven counties had unemployment rates at or below 7 percent: Delaware, 5.8; Holmes, 6; Auglaize, 6.3; Union, 6.6; Franklin, 6.8; and Hancock, 7 percent.

In addition to Pike County, eight counties had unemployment rates above 13.0 percent: Adams, Meigs, and Morgan, 14.4; Ottawa, 13.9; Huron, 13.8; Vinton, 13.6; and Monroe, 13.1 percent.

Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.