Valley near top of state jobless list

Trumbull sits 3rd-worst among counties; Warren tied for 4th-worst city

WARREN — August’s jobless rates in Trumbull and Mahoning counties were stagnant — ending a descent toward single-digit pre-pandemic numbers — and remain among the worst in Ohio in an area already struggling with high unemployment.

Tuesday’s report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has Trumbull County’s 11.4 percent unemployment rate third worst and Mahoning County’s 11.1 percent rate fifth worst among the 88 counties in Ohio.

In Columbiana County the rate was 10 percent, making it ninth worst in the state.

Last month, Trumbull County was fourth and Mahoning County, fifth. Columbiana landed at No. 10 last month.

Similarly, the jobless rates for Warren and Youngstown — the two largest cities in the Mahoning Valley — are near the top in the state.

Their rates had been inching downward, but rose modestly last month to 15.2 percent in Warren and 15 percent in Youngstown, representing increases of 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent from July, and positioning them at Nos. 4 and 6. Warren is tied with Euclid.

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 were they stayed until August.

Cities with worse rates are Maple Heights, 16.9 percent; Cleveland, 15.6 percent; and Garfield Heights, 15.3 percent.

Across the state, Monroe County along the Ohio River south of St. Clairsville overtook Cuyahoga County for No. 1 with a rate of 11.9 percent. Cuyahoga County was second with 11.6 percent. The lowest was 4.1 percent in Holmes County southwest of Canton.

Bill Adams, economist for Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank, said northeast Ohio typically lags behind the rest of the state and the U.S. for unemployment. It’s the same as the region tries to pull out of the economic skid brought on the by outbreak.

“Looking at the demographic measures of the labor market, occupations that were lower paying before the crisis hit also tended to see a large share of workers laid off or having hours reduced. And those are also occupations where it’s less possible for workers to perform their jobs from home or remotely,” Adams said. “So that side of the U.S. economy has born the brunt of the economic crisis and is slower to recover. The share of workers in those occupations is higher in northeast Ohio than the national average.”

The jobless numbers come ahead of Thursday’s release of the state and federal governments release of jobless benefit claims. Last week, the number of Ohioans who sought jobless help shrunk for the fourth consecutive week and claims across the U.S. fell, too, but remained at historically high numbers due to the viral outbreak.


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