The unemployment rate for Highland County increased from 5.7 percent in December to 6.5 percent in January, according to new figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
The ODJFS said the labor force for the county is 17,200 and 16,100 are employed, leaving 1,100 unemployed. The county unemployment numbers are not-seasonally adjusted. Of the 88 counties in the state, Highland County is the 30th ranked in terms of the unemployment rate.
Seasonal adjustment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a “statistical technique that attempts to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns to reveal how employment and unemployment change from month to month.”
It considers the changes in labor market activity because of seasonal events like weather, harvests and major holidays. Because the seasonal events are mostly the same every year, the change in the trends can be eliminated by seasonally adjusting the statistics from month to month. The adjustments allow people to see the underlying trends and other nonseasonal movements.
The latest ODFJS figures show Ohio is down to 5.3 percent unemployment, an 0.3-percent decrease compared to December.
The unemployment numbers in Ohio range from a low of 3.1 percent in Holmes County to a high of 8.5 percent in Noble County.
There were five counties at or below 4.0 percent unemployment in Ohio in January: Holmes County at 3.1 percent, Mercer County at 3.4 percent, Putnam County at 3.8 percent, Union County at 3.9 percent and Auglaize County at 4.0 percent.
There were seven counties at or above 8.0 percent unemployment in January: Cuyahoga County at 8.0 percent, Huron County at 8.0 percent, Erie County at 8.1 percent, Morgan County at 8.1 percent, Monroe County at 8.4 percent, Ottawa County at 8.4 percent and Noble County at 8.5 percent.
According to ODJFS, 83 counties had their unemployment rates increase, while only five decreased.
In terms of the six counties contiguous to Highland County, two were in the top 10 for the highest unemployment rate in the state. Those are Adams and Pike counties, which had 7.8 percent and 7.6 percent unemployment rates, respectively. Adams County is ninth in the state in terms of the highest unemployment figures and Pike County is 10th. Brown and Clinton counties were both at 6.5 percent, and Fayette and Ross were both at 5.7 percent.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.