Valley jobless rate dips
WARREN — Jobless rates in Trumbull and Mahoning counties continue to inch back from highs that cracked 20 percent in April, but remain among the worst in Ohio.
It’s the same circumstance — rates are trending downward, but are nowhere near pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels — for Warren and Youngstown, the two largest cities in the Mahoning Valley.
A report Tuesday from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services shows Trumbull County is third-worst in Ohio with a rate of 13.6 percent in June. Mahoning County’s rate of 13.2 percent places it fifth — due to a tie for fourth worst (Monroe and Lucas counties, 13.5 percent).
Trumbull County in May had a rate of 16.3 percent and was at 21 percent in April, when the viral outbreak devastated the state’s economy. Mahoning County posted 15.3 percent in May, down from 20.1 percent in April.
Columbiana County last month was tied for No. 12 with Coshocton County with a rate of 11.9 percent. Columbiana County’s rate in May was 15.3 percent. In April, it was 20.4 percent.
In comparison, Ohio’s unemployment rate fell 3 percent to settle at 10.9 percent in June. The U.S. rate fell, too, by 2.2 percent to 11.1 percent. Still, that’s far off from the 3.5 or so percent the nation experienced before the outbreak in mid-March.
Ohio’s rate before COVID-19 was 4.1 percent.
The rates around Ohio ranged from a high of 15.2 percent in Cuyahoga County to a low of 5 percent in Holmes County southwest of Canton. In all but two of Ohio’s 88 counties, the rates fell, according to Ohio JFS.
The state report also shows Warren and Youngstown, with rates of 16.9 percent and 16.3 percent in June, are sixth- and seventh-worst among Ohio cities despite falling from 19.8 percent and 17.7 percent in May.
The top rate among cities is 19.4 percent in Cleveland; Upper Arlington near Columbus has the lowest rate, 6.9 percent.
The jobless numbers came two days ahead of the state’s weekly release of unemployment benefit claims, which should top 1.5 million when the numbers are made available Thursday.
Last week, an additional 35,422 Ohioans sought jobless aid, up from the 33,483 the week ending July 4, a sign that even as Ohioans return to work, the outbreak continues to grip the economy.