The unemployment rate for Highland County increased by two-tenths of 1 percent last month, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
December’s jobless rate for the county was at 5.7 percent, up from 5.5 percent the month before.
Among Ohio’s 88 counties, preliminary December 2020 jobless numbers ranged from a low 2.7 percent in Holmes County’s Amish country in northern Ohio, to Noble County’s 7.7 percent in the heart of Appalachia in the eastern part of the state.
In the region, Adams and Pike counties were in the top 20 of the state’s highest county-by-county rankings, with Adams County at No. 11 with a 6.6 percent jobless rate and Pike County in 16th place at 6.5 percent.
Brown County remained the same as November at 5.5 percent and Clinton County was at 5.4 percent.
Occupying the lower half of the state’s 88 counties in terms of the jobless, Ross County was at No. 56 at 4.8 percent, with Fayette County’s 4.6 percent being the lowest unemployment rate in the region.
The ODJFS said that 11 counties had unemployment rates at or below 4 percent in December, centered in clusters in Central Ohio (Madison, Union and Delaware), Northwest Ohio (Putnam, Van Wert, Mercer and Auglaize), and Northeastern Ohio (Wayne and Holmes), while Wyandot and Warren counties stood alone with rates of 3.9 and 4 percent, respectively.
The three-county grouping of Ottawa, Huron and Erie near Lake Erie had jobless rates of from 7 to 7.4 percent, while in eastern Ohio’s Appalachian region, Monroe County, which adjoins Noble County, posted an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.
Overall, ODJFS reported that those in the unemployment line increased in 59 counties, decreased in 17 counties and remained the same in 12 counties.
The Ohio unemployment rate for January, plus non-agricultural wage and salary data, will be released by ODJFS on Friday, March 12.
The next county-by-county breakdown, along with jobless figures for cities and metropolitan areas, will be available the following Tuesday, March 16.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.