OHIO VALLEY — Mason, Meigs and Gallia counties all saw unemployment rates rise according to the latest statistics released by both West Virginia WorkForce and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Though the latest state numbers were released last week, on Friday the two agencies released the latest unemployment statistics broken down by each county for January.
Starting in Mason County, unemployment rates went from 11.4 in December, to 12 percent in January. Mason County was at number five when it came to a list of counties having the highest unemployment rate in the state. Preceding Mason County were Wetzel at 12.1 percent, Wirt at 12.4 percent, Roane at 12.9 percent and Calhoun at 13.2 percent - the highest in the state. There were 46 counties which recorded increasing unemployment rates in West Virginia with only six reporting declining unemployment rates.
West Virginia counties reporting declining unemployment rates were Lincoln at 9.5 percent, Logan at 7.8 percent, Nicholas at 8.8 percent, Pocahontas at 10 percent, Randolph at 9.7 percent and Webster at 11.8 percent. Fayette (8.7 percent), Raleigh (6.7 percent) and Tucker (10.4 percent) reported no change in their unemployment rates over the month of January. The lowest county employment rate once again belonged to Monongalia County with 5.2 percent, followed closely by Jefferson County at 5.8 percent.
For the second month in a row, the unemployment rates in both Meigs and Gallia counties continued to climb though most significantly in Meigs County. Meigs County went from an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent in December 2011 to 14.6 percent in January. This meant Meigs County ranked third in the state for the highest unemployment, preceded by Ottawa County with 15 percent and Pike County with 16.6 percent.
Gallia County went from an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent in December 2011 to 10.7 percent in January. This increase bumped Gallia from number 24 to number 22 on the list of unemployment rankings amongst Ohio’s 88 counties. As recent as November 2011, Gallia County was ranked at number 42 in terms of unemployment rates but jumped to number 24 in December 2011.
In Ohio, those counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Mercer County at 5.6 percent, Holmes County with six percent, Delaware County with six percent, Union County with 6.7 percent and Auglaize County at seven percent. Franklin County had 7.1 percent unemployment, coming in at 82 on the list of highest to lowest unemployment rates in Ohio.
Also on Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported employment rose by 227,000 jobs in February, but the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent. The latest unemployment rates for West Virginia and Ohio are 7.8 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.