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Published: Wednesday, 3/27/2013

Lucas Co. joblessness drops to 8.7% in Feb.

Numbers down in all 88 Ohio counties

BLADE STAFF

After rising for three consecutive months, the unemployment rate in Lucas County dropped in February, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The rates in Toledo and surrounding counties also dropped.

When the jobless rates jumped from December to January, experts blamed post-holiday layoffs and said not to put too much emphasis on one month’s numbers. February’s unemployment rates are better than January’s but still not as good as December's.

In Lucas County, the percentage of people actively looking for a job who couldn’t find one was 8.7 percent in February, down from 9.7 percent a month earlier. In Toledo, the rate dropped from 10.4 percent to 9.2 percent.

Wood County saw its rate fall from 8.1 percent to 7.4 percent. Ottawa County’s rate fell from 13.9 to 12.2, and Fulton County’s rate fell from 10.5 percent to 9.2 percent.

In all four local counties, the jobless rate in February was lower than it was a year earlier.

Statewide, the labor force grew by 1,000 from January to February, so the improvement came from added jobs, not people giving up looking for work.

The unemployment rate fell in all 88 Ohio counties last month.

The lowest was 4.8 percent in Mercer County. Hancock County was one of seven counties below 6.5 percent. Pike County, in the south central part of the state, had the highest rate at 13.7 percent.

In northwest Ohio, Huron and Ottawa counties were among six Ohio counties with rates higher than 12 percent.

The city and county labor force estimates are not seasonally adjusted.

The Ohio unemployment rate, which was announced Friday and is seasonally adjusted, was 7.0 percent.

Ohio's unemployment rate remains lower than the U.S. rate, which was 7.7 percent in February.

— Chip Towns



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