• 77°

Jobless rate takes slight drop in April

IRONTON – Lawrence County’s jobless rate dropped four-tenths of 1 percent for the month of April, further solidifying the county’s position in having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

The county’s unemployment rate remained third best among Ohio’s 88 counties in April, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services which released its county-by-county labor statistics on Tuesday. For the month, Lawrence County had a jobless rate of 7.5 percent compared to 7.9 percent for the month of March.

The jobless rate for Lawrence County one year ago was 4.6 percent.

The state compiles its list of unemployment based on sample areas in each county. The figures are not based on the number of people filing for unemployment compensation.

According to the ODJFS, the county had an estimated civilian labor force of 29,200 with about 2,200 people out of work in April.

However, despite a positive turn for Lawrence County, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 10.2 percent in April up from 9.7 percent in March. The state’s non-farming wage and salary employment decreased 25,200 over the month from 5,158,700 in March to 5,133,500 in April, according to ODJFS data.

“Ohio’s labor market continued to weaken in April,” ODJFS Director Douglas Lumpkin said. “Recurring losses in both manufacturing and construction, along with additional losses in the service providing industries, attributed to the unemployment rate increasing to 10.2 percent.”

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in April was 608,000, up from 578,000 in March. The number of unemployed has increased by 235,000 in the past 12 months from 373,000. The April unemployment rate for Ohio was up from 6.2 percent in April 2008.

The U.S. unemployment rate for April was 8.9 percent, up from 8.5 percent in March.

Among the state’s 88 counties, the April 2009 unemployment rates ranged from a low of 6.6 percent in Delaware County to a high of 16.3 percent in Williams County. Rates decreased in 47 of the 88 counties. The comparable rate for Ohio in April was 10.2 percent.

Only Lawrence County and three others had unemployment rates below 8 percent in April. The counties with the lowest rates other than Lawrence were: Delaware, 6.6; Geauga, 7.3 and Holmes 7.6 percent.

Five counties had unemployment rates above 15 percent during April. The counties with the highest rates, other than Williams were: Huron, 15.7; Pike, 15.1; and Van Wert and Morgan, 15 percent.

Scioto County’s jobless rate in April was 11.5 percent, the same level as March.