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Uunemployment rate at 5 percent

Lawrence County’s unemployment rate in October was 5.0 — a slight dip from the month before and largely in keeping with a one-year trend.

According to data released last week by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 1,500 Lawrence Countians were looking for work in October. Of the county’s 29,600 labor force, 28,100 were employed.

“Our underemployment rate is not as good as I wish it was,” Lawrence County Commissioner Jason Stephens said late last week, noting the October figures during the regular weekly commission meeting. “But our unemployment rate is the same as Cincinnati’s and better than Cleveland’s and much better than most of our neighbors.”

September’s rate was 5.4 percent. From September 2006 and October 2007, Lawrence County’s jobless rate has fluctuated between 4.8 and 5.5 percent, except for June, when the county’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent.

Lawrence County’s rate was lower than the state’s overall rate of 5.9 percent, unchanged from the September rate.