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Ottawa County's jobless rate state's highest at 19.8%

Ottawa County's jobless rate jumped to 19.8 percent in January, the highest of any county in the state, figures released Wednesday show.

Toledo's jobless rate rose to 13.8 percent, and most northwest Ohio counties had increases in unemployment for the first month of the year, the state Department of Job and Family Services said.

The increases occurred even though the statewide rate was unchanged at 10.8 percent. The Ohio figure was released Friday. The January figures were delayed from the normal release time because of statistically adjusting that occurs early in the year.

Ottawa County, part of the four-county metro Toledo area, had its rate climb from 16.9 percent in December and from 16.1 percent in January, 2008. It had 4,400 unemployed, the state report shows.

Toledo's rate increased from 12.9 percent in December and 13.6 percent in January, 2008. Lucas County's rate bumped up to 13.2 percent from 12.3 percent in December, Fulton County's rose to 16 percent from 14 percent in December, and Wood County's went to 12 percent from 11.1 percent in December.

The national rate in January was 9.7 percent.

The February figures for Ohio and for the counties will be released later this month.

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