The unemployment rate in Highland County climbed significantly in December to 6.3 percent, a rise of 1.9 percent from the previous month, according to figures released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
The ODJFS said the labor force in Highland County has 17,700 workers, with 16,600 members of the force employed and 1,100 unemployed. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Of the 88 counties in Ohio, Highland County is ranked fifth in terms of the highest unemployment rate in the state, tied with one other county.
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.
The county unemployment rates in Ohio ranged from a low of 2.1 percent in Mercer County to a high of 6.8 percent in Monroe County.
The state had three counties at or below 2.5 percent unemployment in December: Mercer County at 2.1 percent and Auglaize and Wyandot counties at 2.4 percent.
The state had six counties at or above 6.0 percent unemployment in December: Monroe County at 6.8 percent, Ottawa County at 6.5 percent, Noble County at 6.4 percent, Adams and Highland counties at 6.3 percent and Meigs County at 6.0 percent.
According to ODJFS, unemployment increased in 83 counties in Ohio in December and decreased in the five other counties.
Of the six counties contiguous to Highland County, Ross County had 3.5 percent unemployment in December, Fayette County had 3.8 percent, Clinton County had 4.2 percent, Brown County had 4.5 percent, Pike County had 5.3 percent and Adams County had 6.3 percent.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.