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Jobless rates creep back to pre-pandemic numbers

Trumbull, Mahoning among worst in Ohio

WARREN — July’s jobless rates in Trumbull and Mahoning counties continued their descent toward single-digit pre-pandemic levels, but last month’s numbers show the steady effect of the viral outbreak in the Mahoning Valley.

Tuesday’s report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has Trumbull County’s 11.1 percent unemployment rate fourth-worst and Mahoning County’s 11 percent fifth in Ohio.

The jobless rates for Warren and Youngstown, the two largest cities in the Mahoning Valley that were already grappling with some of the highest rates in Ohio before the pandemic struck, also are trending down but remain a ways off from so-called normal levels.

Trumbull County’s rate fell 2.5 percent in July from June’s 13.6 percent and Mahoning County fell 2.2 percent last month from 13.2 percent in June.

To compare, in July 2019 Trumbull County posted a rate of 6.1 percent and Mahoning County, 6.5 percent, while in February and March, the rates were 6.8 percent and 7.3 percent in Trumbull County and 6.3 percent and 7 percent in Mahoning County.

At the height of the fallout caused by the pandemic, the rates in both counties cracked 20 percent.

Across Ohio, Cuyahoga County was No. 1 at 12.9 percent and Holmes County, southwest of Canton, had the lowest rate, 4.1 percent. Columbiana County was No. 10 with a rate of 10.1 percent.

Ohio in July had a rate of 8.9 percent, down 2.1 percent from June, and the U.S. rate was 10.2 percent, down 0.9 percent from the previous month. Pre-pandemic, the state and national rates were around 4.1 percent and 3.5 percent.

In February, Warren and Youngstown held the unenviable distinction of having the highest unemployment rates among cities in Ohio. Those numbers worsened with the onset of Ohio’s discontinued stay-at-home order that caused businesses to shed workers or even close, but larger cities surpassed them, pushing them out of the top five.

That’s where they remained in July — Youngstown at No. 6 with a rate of 14.3 percent and Warren at No. 7 with a rate of 14.7 percent.

Still, those rates fell 2.1 percent for Youngstown and 2.2 percent for Warren from June.

The city with the highest unemployment rate in the state is Maple Heights with 17.9 percent.

The jobless numbers come a couple days ahead of the state and federal governments release of jobless benefit claims, both of which rose last week after experiencing a short period of decline.

Top unemployment rates by county

Cuyahoga 12.9 percent

Monroe and Lorain 11.6 percent

Trumbull 11.1 percent

Mahoning 11 percent

SOURCE: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

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