Monday, Aug 29, 2016
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Economy

Lucas County jobless rate lowest since ’08

Unemployment at 7.6% for August

Lucas County's unemployment rate in August was its lowest since 2008, according to statistics released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The county's unemployment rate dropped 7.6 percent from 8.4 percent in July.

The rate also fell in Toledo, to 8.3 percent from 9.1 percent.

The agency said 15,900 Lucas County residents were unemployed in August.

The last time Lucas County had an unemployment rate lower than 7.6 percent was the 6.8 percent in May, 2008. At that time, the county had a labor force of 221,000, about 12,200 more than last month.

The smaller labor force means that a net total of 12,200 people have moved, retired, or given up looking for work in the last four-plus years.

Mike Veh, work force development manager at The Source of Northwest Ohio, Lucas County’s one-stop shop for unemployment services, told The Blade last week that more employers have been looking for workers.

“I would say it’s been increasing for a while,” Mr. Veh said. “It seems we’re seeing an increase in the number of midlevel jobs, the ones that have been so decimated through the recession.”

Mr. Veh acknowledged that those jobs don’t pay as well as they once did, but he said the gap is getting smaller.

Toledo's unemployment rate of 8.3 percent is higher than those of Columbus (6 percent), Akron (7.3 percent), and Cincinnati (7.5 percent), but lower than Dayton’s (8.9 percent), Youngstown’s (9.3 percent), and Cleveland’s (9.4 percent.)

Rates decreased in 83 of Ohio's 88 counties, including every county in northwest Ohio. Wood County’s unemployment rate declined to 6.6 percent from 7.3 percent, Ottawa County's fell to 7.1 percent from 8.2 percent, and Fulton County’s dropped to 6.7 percent from 7.8 percent.

The city and county data released Tuesday are not seasonally adjusted.

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