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Published: Wednesday, 8/20/2014

Job market improves in Toledo

More people leave labor force, but companies filling positions


Unemployment rates in northwest Ohio rose slightly in July, but they are substantially lower than they were a year ago.

In Lucas County, the unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point from June but at 6.5 percent it remains far below the 8.8 percent figure from July, 2013.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which released the estimates Tuesday, said the unemployment rate in the city of Toledo rose from 6.8 percent in June to 7 percent in July. A year earlier, the city unemployment rate was 9.6 percent.

Because monthly data for counties and cities are not seasonally adjusted, economists say the best way to look at the data is year to year, not month to month.

In July, 2013, Lucas County’s unemployment rate was 8.8 percent.

The decreases come from a combination of more people working and fewer people in the labor force.

Data from the state show employment in Lucas County rose by 3,100 from July, 2013, to July, 2014. However, the state also said the county’s labor force — the total number of people either working or actively searching for work — decreased by 2,100.

The city added 1,900 jobs from last year, but 1,700 people left the labor force.

Unemployment rates were up from June in all three of the other counties making up metro Toledo. Fulton County’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, up from 6 percent in June.

Ottawa County’s unemployment rate jumped to 6.5 percent from 5.8 percent in June. In Wood County, the July unemployment rate rose to 5.6 percent from 5.4 percent in June.

Unemployment rates in Ohio’s 88 counties ranged from 3.3 percent in Mercer County, along the Indiana border, to 12.2 percent in Monroe County, which is on the West Virginia border in the southeast part of the state.

Hancock County had the lowest rate in northwest Ohio, at 4.8 percent.

Unemployment rates rose in 73 counties, including 15 of the 16 in northwest Ohio. The exception to rates rising in northwest Ohio was Henry County, which saw its rate fall from 5.6 percent in June to 5.3 percent in July.

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