June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

County labor force grows again

Medina County’s labor force — the number of people with jobs or looking for work — rose last month for the second time in a row.

The county’s labor force totaled 94,100 in May — 500 more than reported in April, according to data released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Because the county added 600 jobs last month — 100 more than the increase in the labor force — the unemployment rate slid slightly to 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in April but unchanged from May 2012.

The year-over-year comparisons indicate the recovery in the job market remains in low gear. Tuesday’s report estimated Medina County had 88,700 jobs last month — 1,100 less than in May 2012.

The labor force declined even more, down 1,300 from a year ago.

Economic experts say the year-over-year comparisons are the most valid because the employment statistics at the county level are not seasonally adjusted.

Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was 7 percent. The unadjusted rate was 6.9 percent.

For the nation in May, the adjusted rate was 7.6 percent and the unadjusted rate was 7.3 percent.

The May jobless rates rose in 55 of Ohio’s 88 counties, ranging from a low of 4.3 percent in Mercer County to a high of 11.9 percent in Pike County.

Medina’s 5.8 percent rate tied for eighth best.

The unemployment rates in neighboring counties improved in Lorain and Ashland, but were up in Cuyahoga, Summit and Wayne.

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