Jobless rate jumps

LISBON – Columbiana County’s unemployment rate jumped in January to its highest level in nearly a year.

The unemployment rate increased to 8.4 percent in January from 7.1 percent in the month before, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The county’s jobless rate was last this high in February 2013, when it was 8.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in January, from 7.2 percent, while the national rate also declined slightly, to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent.

According to the state, an estimated 4,200 countians were unemployed in January, an increase of 600 over the previous month. This left 45,900 county residents with jobs, a 1,300 decline from December.

The average weekly benefit in January was $326.

Among the adjoining Ohio counties, Columbiana County’s rate was lower than Mahoning (8.6 percent) and Jefferson (10.2 percent) but higher than Carroll (8.3 percent) and Stark (7.4 percent).

The county’s January unemployment rate was the 32nd highest among Ohio’s 88 counties. Monroe County, in southern Ohio, again had the highest unemployment rate at 15 percent, while Mercer County along the Indiana border continued to have the lowest jobless rate at 4.4 percent.