LIMA — Unemployment rates went up in eight of the nine area counties in July, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Despite that, local counties had five of the lowest 12 unemployment rates in Ohio.
Local counties ranked near the bottom of Ohio’s unemployment list included Mercer County (88th, 3.3 percent), Auglaize County (86th, 4.1), Hancock County (82nd, 4.8 percent), Shelby County (80th, 4.9 percent), Logan County (78th, 4.9 percent) and Putnam County (77th, 5 percent).
Allen County’s unemployment rate increased 0.5 percentage points, to 6.1 percent in July. That’s still lower than the 8.2 percent seen in July 2013. Allen County saw its number of unemployed people increase by 300 while its labor force shrunk by 100.
Putnam County saw the largest increase in unemployment rate in the region, at 0.6 percentage points. The county saw its unemployment rate jump to 5 percent. An additional 100 people joined the ranks of the unemployed while employment shrunk by 100.
Auglaize County increased slightly, from 4 percent in June to 4.1 percent in July. Its number of employed people and unemployed people both increased by 100 compared with June tallies.
Mercer County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate once again, at 3.3 percent. That’s unchanged from last month.
The statewide average was 6 percent unemployment, up from 5.9 percent last month but down from 7.6 percent a year ago. All area counties except Allen and Hardin beat the statewide average.