The year-to-year jobless rate for counties in the North Central Ohio area increased or were stagnant in April.
The unemployment rate for Crawford County was 5.5 percent last month compared with 5.3 percent in April 2015, according to data released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
But the county’s civilian labor force increased by 300 people to 19,300 in April, while unemployment also increased by 100 to 1,100.
In Richland County, the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in April compared with 5.3 percent in April 2015. The civilian labor force was 53,500 people in April 2016 compared with 53,200 for the same month in 2015. Employment in Richland County increased by 200 people, while unemployment increased by 100 last month.
Employment data for Ohio’s 88 counties is not seasonally adjusted and therefore changes in month-t0-month employment figures means absolutely nothing, said Cleveland-based economist George Zeller.
“Far more troubling is the fact that the April 2016 not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is substantially higher than the April 2016 not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up in both Crawford and Richland Counties. Since both years are data for April, seasonal factors are not causing the substantial increase in unemployment in north central Ohio during the past year. This instead measures a noticeable increase in unemployment,” Zeller said in an email.
Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in April compared with 5 percent in April 2015. The number of unemployed has increased by 15,000 in the past 12 months from 287,000.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 5 percent last month, down from 5.4 percent in April 2015.
“The only good news in these figures is that the civilian labor force increased statewide by 113,000 during the past year,” Zeller said. “More than 100,000 Ohio workers who previously dropped out of the labor force because they gave up in their unsuccessful effort to find a job have now re-entered the labor force and are looking for work.”
In Morrow County, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in April compared with 4.4 percent in April 2015. The county’s employment increased by 400 people to 16,400 in April, while unemployment increased by 100 to 800 for the same month. The civilian labor force was 16,800 people in April compared with 17,200 in April 2015.
The Knox County unemployment was 4.2 percent in April 2015 and 2016.
Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.