County jobless rate drops below state average

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lawrence County’s jobless rate last month was 5.3 percent — below the state average and lower still than most of its Buckeye neighbors.

Figures released late last week from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services show that Lawrence County’s jobless rate for the month of November was a slight change from October’s 5.4 percent, but was nearly a 1 percent improvement over November 2004, when the county’s jobless rate was 6.1 percent.

Lawrence County Commissioner Jason Stephens said the news from the state was welcome.

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“It’s encouraging news. I think we’re moving in the right direction. It’s a good thing, but I want to see it get better, ” he said. “Of course, for the person who is unemployed this is not good news at all.”

Stephens credited the unity among county business and government leaders with improvements in the employment outlook.

“I think everyone is working together, from the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation to the county government to the (Lawrence County) Jobs and Family Services, we’re working together and it’s beginning to bear fruit.”

Lawrence County’s news was brighter than that of Scioto County, where the jobless rate was 7.7, a decrease from 7.8 the month before but still higher than the state average of

5.7 percent. Elsewhere, Meigs County’s jobless rate in November was 8.3 percent and Jackson County’s was 6.3 percent. Gallia County posted a 5.4 percent jobless rate for November. Lawrence County’s jobless rate was lower than that of Cuyahoga County, which posted a 5.9-percent jobless rate, and on a par with Hamilton County, which also had a 5.3 percent jobless rate.

The state’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in November was down from 5.9 percent in October. The national unemployment rate for November was 5.0 percent, unchanged from October.

Pike County had the highest rate of unemployment in November, 8.7 percent, while Holmes County had the lowest rate at 3.5 percent.