June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

More county residents worked in February

The number of Medina County residents with jobs increased to 88,100 in February — 1,000 more than reported the previous month and 800 more than found in February 2013.

But the number of unemployed decreased by only 300 because the county’s civilian labor force — the number of residents with jobs or looking for work — went up by 800, to 95,000.

The county’s labor force growth is considered good news by experts to say the increases usually result from a decline in “discouraged workers” who had stopped looking for jobs.

The February employment statistics were released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The report showed the county’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent, compared to 7.6 percent in January and 7.5 percent in February 2013.

The year-over-year comparison is considered more valid because — unlike the national, state and metropolitan employment statistics — county figures are not adjusted for seasonal factors, such as the decline in construction work with the onset of winter and layoff of retail workers after the holiday shopping season.

Both Ohio’s unadjusted and adjusted unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in February, down from 7.5 percent in January.

Tuesday’s report found the unemployment rate decreased in 86 Ohio counties and stayed the same in the remaining two counties.

The highest rate was 14.2 percent in Monroe County, along the state’s southeast border. The lowest was 4.3 percent in Mercer County, in the far western part of the state.

Medina County’s 7.3 percent jobless rate tied with five counties — Lucas, Morrow, Pickaway, Washington and Marion — for 41st best place among Ohio’s 88 counties.

Jobless rates improved in all five neighboring counties: Lorain (8.7 percent, down from 9.3 percent), Cuyahoga (8.2 percent, down from 8.8 percent), Ashland (7.4 percent, down from 7.9 percent), Summit (6.5 percent, down from 7.1 percent), and Wayne County (5.7 percent, down from 6.2 percent).

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