County jobless rate jumps higher

LISBON – Columbiana County’s unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percent in June, marking the fourth such jump in the past seven months.

The county’s jobless rate increased to 8.2 percent last month compared to 7.7 percent in May, according to figures released last week by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s unemployment rate increased slightly over the same period, from 7 percent in May to 7.2 percent, while the national jobless rate remained unchanged at 7.6 percent.

The Associated Press reported Ohio lost 12,500 jobs, second only to Tennessee, which lost 16,500 jobs. This comes one month after Ohio led the 50 states in job creation, with an increase of 32,100 positions. Ohio has only added 16,000 jobs over the past 12 months, for a 0.3 percent growth rate, compared to new 113,500 jobs created over the previous 12-month period.

The unemployment rate is an estimate based on a formula that takes into account the number of people filing for and receiving unemployment benefits, plus the results of a monthly nationwide phone survey of 50,000 households, including 2,000 in Ohio.

The estimated number of unemployed county residents increased in June by 300 to 4,200, with 47,300 people listed as having jobs – 100 more than May. Meanwhile, the number of new filings for benefits decreased from 358 to 344 over the same period. The number of people receiving benefits totaled 2,803 in June, with the average weekly benefit being $318.

Among the adjoining Ohio counties, Columbiana’s unemployment rate was the same as Carroll (8.2 percent), higher than Stark (7.5 percent) and less than than Jefferson (10.6 percent) and Mahoning (8.3 percent).

The county’s June rate was the 31st highest among Ohio’s 88 counties, up four positions from May. Meigs County in southern Ohio had the highest jobless rate at 12.7 percent, while Mercer County along the Indiana border still has the lowest, at 4.6 percent.