County jobless rate up, then down over last 2 months

LISBON – Columbiana County’s unemployment rate increased and then declined over the past two months, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The local unemployment rate increased from 7.7 percent in August, the last month such figures were available due to the partial shutdown of the federal government, to 8 percent in September, before dropping to 7.6 percent in October.

Meanwhile, the statewide unemployment rate rose over those same two months, from 7.3 percent to 7.5 percent, while the national rate increased slightly in September before declining to 7.3 percent last month – the same as it was in August.

According to the state, the estimated number of unemployed countians was 3,900 in October -the same as August. Meanwhile, the number of residents with jobs increased by 200 over the two-month period, to 47,100.

The rate is an estimate based largely on the number of people receiving unemployment benefits and a nationwide phone survey of 50,000 households,

including 2,000 in Ohio. The estimate of job gains and losses is based on a survey of mostly large businesses and government agencies.

New filings for unemployment benefits increased from 337 in August to 361 last month, while the number of people continuing to receive benefits over the same period dropped from 2,197 to 1,961. The average benefit in October was $317 per week.

Among the adjoining Ohio counties, Columbiana’s October rate was lower than Mahoning (7.9 percent) and Jefferson (9.8 percent) but higher than Stark (7.2 percent) and Carroll (7.1 percent).

The county’s rate was the 32nd highest among Ohio’s 88 counties. Meigs County, in southern Ohio, had the highest unemployment rate at 12 percent, while Mercer County along the Indiana border continued to have the lowest jobless rate at 4.3 percent.