The unemployment rate in Highland County fell in March to 5.0 percent, a drop of 1.8 percent from the month before, according to new figures released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
The ODJFS said the labor force in the county is 17,800 with 16,900 members of it employed and 900 unemployed. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Of the 88 counties in Ohio, Highland County is ranked 37th in terms of the highest unemployment rate in the state, tied with two other counties, Crawford and Richland.
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 4.7 percent in March from the 5.0 percent in February.
The county unemployment rates in Ohio range from a low of 2.4 percent in Holmes County to a high of 6.6 percent in Mahoning and Monroe counties.
The state had nine counties at or below 3.5 percent in March: Holmes at 2.4 percent, Mercer at 2.8 percent, Geauga at 3.2 percent, Auglaize, Medina and Wyandot counties at 3.3 percent and Putnam, Union and Wayne counties at 3.4 percent.
It also had 10 counties at or above 6.0 percent in March: Mahoning and Monroe at 6.6 percent, Trumbull at 6.4 percent, Noble and Ottawa at 6.3 percent, Morgan at 6.2 percent, Erie and Huron at 6.1 percent and Adams and Lucas at 6.0 percent.
According to ODJFS, only two counties had their unemployment rates increase in March.
Of the six counties that border Highland County:
* Ross County has 4.1 percent unemployment and ranked 63rd in the state.
* Fayette County has 4.7 percent unemployment and ranked 42nd in the state.
* Clinton County has 4.9 percent unemployment and ranked 40th in the state.
* Brown County has 4.9 percent unemployment and ranked 39th in the state.
* Pike County has 5.6 percent unemployment and ranked 17th in the state.
* Adams County has 6.0 percent unemployment and ranked 9th in the state.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.