Valley jobless rates drop
WARREN — April’s jobless rates that cracked 20 percent in the Mahoning Valley, brought on by the viral outbreak and Ohio’s stay-at-home order, started to inch down last month as businesses reopened and people returned to work.
Still, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties occupy three of the top 10 spots for highest unemployment rates in Ohio, according to data released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Trumbull County’s rate of 16.3 percent in May ranks it No. 6 among the state’s 88 counties despite a decrease of 4.7 percent from April.
Mahoning and Columbiana counties both occupy the ninth spot with rates of 15.3 percent. In April, Mahoning County posted a rate of 20.1 percent and Columbiana County, 20.4 percent.
In comparison, Ohio’s jobless rate in May was 13.7 percent, down nearly 4 percent. For the U.S., the rate was 13.3 percent, down 1.3 percent, but still a far cry from the 3.5 or so percent the nation was experiencing pre-pandemic.
Ohio’s rate before the outbreak was 4.1 percent.
Tuesday’s report shows Erie County, along Erie Lake in north central Ohio, has the highest rate, 19.9 percent. The lowest rate belongs to Holmes County near the central part of the state at 5.1 percent.
Warren and Youngstown also experienced declines, from 23.7 percent and 20.4 percent respectively in April to 19.6 percent and 17.4 percent in May.
Last week Ohio marked the seventh in a row the state saw continuing claims for unemployment benefits decline, a sign that Ohioans laid off during the outbreak are returning to work. It also marked the 10th week in the last 11 that new claims filed fell, yet the total number has surpassed 1.3 million, exceeding the state’s combined total of claims for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Ohio JFS will release the latest claims numbers, for the week ending June 20, on Thursday.