Ohio’s job outlook is improving

THE unemployment rates for the state of Ohio were released this past week.

In a topic that has dominated much of that national headlines since 2008, glimmers of recovery continue to show in each of the latest data statistics released over that past several months.

Of the 88 counties in Ohio, 85 have continued to show a decline in the jobless rates for the first quarter of 2013.

Unemployment rates range from a low of 4.6 percent in Mercer County, which lies on the western-most part of the state bordering Indiana, to 13.4 in Pike County, just below Chillicothe.

Across the state, the cumulative unemployment rate dropped again to 7.3 percent, sliding just a hair under the 7.6 national rate. After reaching a peak of 10.6 in July 2009, the percentage has dropped more than 3.5 percent.

The 7.6 national rate marks the lowest point in four years on the statistic, which many aspects government and markets use to provide an outlook on the US economy’s sluggish recovery.

The last time the country saw this low of a rate was in January of 2009, and prior to that, 1992.

These unemployment numbers were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Labor, but do not calculate seasonal adjustments.

Locally, Belmont and Jefferson counties turned in 7.4 and 10.1 unemployment rates, respectively.

On the national scene, 26 states plus the District of Columbia experienced declines over the past year, while seven states reported increases, and 17 remaining stagnant at or around the previous reading.

Muklewicz can be reached at mmuklewicz@timesleader online.com