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Published: Saturday, 10/23/2004

Ohio jobless rate, employment fall


Ohio had 17,900 fewer jobs last month than a year ago - including 6,200 in the Toledo area alone, even as the state jobless rate dropped to 6 percent last month.

"We've been seeing less claims," said Keith Ewald, state labor market chief. "Claims have been declining gradually throughout this year."

Figures released yesterday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show the state unemployment rate dropped from August and from September last year and that several rates in northwest Ohio counties also declined.

September jobless rates in northwest Ohio ranged from 3.7 percent in Van Wert County, down from 4 percent in August, to 8.1 percent in Toledo, down from 9 percent in August.

Ohio overall gained 5,500 jobs between August and September, led by advances in the service-providing, educational, health-services, and construction sectors. The auto industry has been fairly stable, too, and overall employment has become a little more steady, Mr. Ewald said.

The state, however, lost 600 manufacturing jobs last month, including 400 factory posts in the Toledo area. Compared to a year ago, Ohio had 11,400 fewer manufacturing jobs last month, including 1,700 less in the Toledo area, according to a survey of businesses.

Lucas County and Toledo have been particularly hard hit by job losses in the last year because the area relies heavily on manufacturing, which has faced difficult times of late, Mr. Ewald said.

A survey of Ohioans used to determine unemployment rates shows that 2,500 fewer Toledoans were employed in September than a year earlier, along with 1,100 fewer residents elsewhere in Lucas County.

Columbus area economist James Coons said Ohio's recovery isn't really strong, but it is occurring.

"It looks to me like the Ohio economy is turning the corner," he said.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:


or 419-724-6087.

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