June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

More not looking for work in county

MEDINA — Medina County’s unemployment rate dropped for the second month in a row in August — but only because there were fewer people looking for work.

The jobless rate slipped to 5.9 percent, down from 6.1 percent in July and 6.6 percent in June, according to a report released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

While the improvement in July’s rate was due to an increase in the number of resident with jobs, last month drop stemmed from an increase in the ranks of discouraged workers, who aren’t included in the calculation of the unemployment rate because they stopped looking for jobs.

The report found the number of residents with jobs decreased to 90,600 — 500 less than in the previous month.

Despite that decline, the jobless rate went down because the county’s civilian labor force — the number of residents with jobs or looking for work — shrank by 700 workers.

The decline ended a string of four months of growth in the labor force.

A bit of good news is that last month’s labor force total of 96,300 was 100 more than reported in August 2012. 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 7.3 percent — the same as the U.S. rate. The unadjusted rate was 6.9 percent. The nation’s unadjusted rate was 7.3 percent.

The August jobless rates declined in all but two of Ohio’s 88 counties, ranging from a low of 4.3 percent in Mercer County to a high of 12.0 percent in Pike County. Medina’s 6.1 percent rate tied for 11th best.

The unemployment rates improved in all five neighboring counties: Ashland, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Summit and Wayne.

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