OHIO VALLEY — The good news is unemployment hasn’t risen across the tri-county, and in two local counties, the even better news is, it continued to decline in the month of October.
In Mason County, unemployment held steady in both September and October at 9.6 percent after being on the decline July-September. After being ranked in seventh place in September in terms of unemployment rates in West Virginia’s 55 counties, in October Mason County found itself in a three-way tie for sixth place. Sharing a 9.6 percent unemployment rate with Mason County are Greenbrier and Mingo counties.
Those counties with the highest unemployment percentage rate include Clay, 13.5; Webster, 12.2; Wetzel, 10.2, Boone, 10.1. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Monongalia, 4.3 percent and Jefferson, 4.5 percent.
In West Virginia, the number of unemployed state residents decreased by 300 to 60,300. Total unemployment was down 3,200 over the year.
In Ohio, both Meigs and Gallia counties saw unemployment rates drop with Mason County’s unemployment rate remaining unchanged.
Meigs remained firmly in the number two slot (again) when it comes to unemployment rankings in Ohio’s 88 counties, sitting behind Pike County which was at number one (again) with 11.5 percent unemployment. Meigs County’s unemployment rate has been dropping for the fourth month in a row, going from 12.5 in July, to 11.1 in August, to 10.7 in September to 10.1 in October.
Over in Gallia County, for the second month in a row, unemployment there has declined, going from 8.2 percent in September to 7.8 percent in October. Gallia went from being ranked at 15 to 19 out of Ohio’s 88 counties when it comes to unemployment rates - in terms of rankings, it’s a good thing when a county’s number rises with the higher the ranking, the lower the unemployment.
For example, coming in at number 88 is Mercer County with 3.8 percent unemployment, preceded by Holmes County at 4.2 percent, Delaware County at 4.5 percent, Geauga and Auglaize counties both at 4.7 percent. Joining Meigs and Pike counties in the top five for the highest unemployment are Huron County at 9.8 percent, Jefferson and Vinton counties both at 9.6 percent.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in October was 396,000, down from 406,000 in September. The number of unemployed has decreased by 88,000 in the past 12 months from 484,000.
The national unemployment rate for October was 7.9 percent, down one-tenth of a point. This is still higher than unemployment rates in both West Virginia and Ohio which were at 7.5 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively. Both states saw declining unemployment rates from September to October.
Information for this article based upon statistics from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and WorkForce West Virginia.