FILE - In this June 13, 2012, file photo, a job seeker talks to a recruiter at a job fair expo in Anaheim, Calif. The U.S. economy is showing signs of finally bottoming out: Americans are on the move again after record numbers had stayed put, more young adults are leaving their parents' homes to take a chance with college or the job market, once-sharp declines in births are leveling off and poverty is slowing. Not all is well. The jobless rate remains high at 8.1 percent. Home ownership dropped for a fifth straight year to 64.6 percent, the lowest in more than a decade, hurt by more stringent financing rules and a shift to renting. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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.