OHIO VALLEY — What goes up must come down, at least this month in Ohio where unemployment rates declined though those same rates were on the rise in West Virginia for the month of January.
Despite unemployment going in different directions in the two states, both Ohio and West Virginia have virtually the same unemployment rate - Ohio at 7.7 percent, West Virginia at 7.8 percent.
Though West Virginia’s unemployment rate was on the rise, it only rose a mere four-tenths of a percentage point in January. On the flip side of that, Ohio’s unemployment rate was on the decline but not a dramatic decline, going from 7.9 percent in December 2011 to 7.7 percent.
In January, the number of unemployed West Virginians rose 2,400 to 61,600 with losses of 3,400 in the goods-producing sector and 12,700 in the service-providing sector. Employment declines were led by a seasonal loss of 2,700 in construction; manufacturing employment dropped 700, while employment in mining and logging was unchanged. Within the service-providing sector, declines included 4,100 in government, 3,800 in trade, transportation and utilities, 1,900 in educational and health services, 900 in leisure and hospitality, 900 in professional and business services, 500 in other services, 400 in financial activities, and 200 in information.
There is some good news in West Virginia, since January of last year employment has risen 19,200 with gains of 5,800 in the goods-producing sector and 13,400 in the service-providing sector. Employment gains included 5,300 in government, 3,600 in leisure and hospitality, 3,400 in educational and health services, 3,200 in mining and logging, 2,900 in construction, 1,700 in professional and business services, 300 in other services and 300 in trade, transportation and utilities.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in January was 447,000, down from 458,000 in December 2011. The number of unemployed has decreased by 79,000 in the past 12 months from 526,000. The unemployment rate in January 2011 was at nine percent which means a year later, the numbers are at least moving in the right direction in Ohio.
In January, employment increased 32,800 with service-providing industries increasing 25,200 over the month. The most significant increases were posted in leisure and hospitality with 6,800 jobs; education and health services, with 6,000 jobs; professional and business services with 5,300 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities with 3,200 jobs. Employment also increased in financial activities with 2,400 jobs; other services, 1,400 jobs; government, 100 jobs.
An overview of the past 12 months shows employment has grown in Ohio by 62,500 jobs. Since last year, Ohio has added 39,700 jobs in the service-providing industries; 16,000 jobs were added in trade, transportation and utilities; 15,400 jobs were added in education and health services; 12,000 jobs were added in professional and business services.
January unemployment rates for both Ohio and West Virginia were still below the national unemployment rate which came in at 8.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent in December 2011.
County-wide unemployment information will become available on March 9 in West Virginia and Ohio. Last month unemployment rose in Mason, Meigs and Gallia Counties. Mason County had an unemployment rate of 11.4 percent , Gallia County’s rate was at 9.2 percent and Meigs County’s unemployment rate came in at 11.8 percent.
Statistics for this article provided by WorkForce West Virginia and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.