The unemployment rate in Highland County climbed in February to 6.8 percent, a rise of 0.3 percent from the month before, according to new figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
ODJFS said the labor force in the county is 17,600 with 16,400 members of the labor force employed and 1,200 unemployed. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Of the 88 counties in Ohio, Highland County is the 19th-ranked county in terms of the highest unemployment rate in the state.
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, ODJFS said.
Overall, the Ohio unemployment rate went down to 5.0 percent from the 5.3 percent it was in January.
The county unemployment rates in Ohio range from a low of 3.1 percent in Holmes County to a high of 8.5 percent in Clinton County.
The state had five counties at or below 4.0 percent in February: Holmes County at 3.1 percent, Geauga and Medina counties at 3.6 percent, Mercer County at 3.7 percent and Union County at 4.0 percent.
It also had five counties at or above 8.0 percent in February and two of them border Highland County: Noble County at 8.0 percent, Adams and Ottawa counties at 8.3 percent, Morgan County at 8.4 percent and Clinton County at 8.5 percent.
According to ODJFS, 21 counties had their unemployment rates increase in February, 53 decreased and 14 did not change.
Of the six counties that border Highland County, all but one of them are in the top half of the state in terms of the highest unemployment rate. Two — And and Clinton counties — are also top three. Clinton County has the highest rate in the state as mentioned above, while Adams County has the third highest rate at 8.3 percent unemployment.
Of the other four, Pike County is the highest at 16th in the state with a 7.0 percent unemployment. Brown County is ranked 27th at 6.4 percent. Fayette County has an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent and is ranked 39th in the state. The only county contiguous to Highland County not in the top half of the state in terms of high unemployment rates is Ross County. It has an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent and is ranked 54th in the state.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.