LIMA — The number of unemployed people in Allen County in May hit its lowest point in nearly 13 years, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Allen County’s unemployment was 5.2 percent in May, down from 5.4 percent in April. That’s the lowest unemployment figure since the county saw 5 percent unemployment in October 2001. The closest since then was 5.3 percent unemployment in May 2006.
Just as impressive is the figure of people actively looking for jobs. There were 2,500 people seeking work in May out of 47,800 people in the labor force. That’s the lowest figure since September 2001, when 2,400 would-be workers out of 51,700 in the workforce sought opportunities.
Overall, the unemployment rates went down in Allen and Putnam counties in May, while they remained stable in six of the other seven counties in the region.
Putnam County’s rate dropped from 4.4 percent to 4.1 percent. Putnam County had just 700 unemployed people seeking work, its lowest number since May 2006, when the unemployment rate was 3.8 percent.
Auglaize County remained stable at 3.6 percent unemployment and 900 people looking for jobs. In that county, which has its lowest rate since May 2001, an additional 200 people reported being employed in May than April.
Mercer County continues to have the lowest rate in the state, steady at 3 percent.
Other counties with rates remaining the same included Hancock (4 percent), Hardin (5.2), Logan (4.4) and Van Wert (4.6) counties.
The rate ticked upward in Shelby County, from 4.3 percent in April to 4.4 percent in May.
Statewide, the average rate was 5.5 percent, compared to 6.3 percent in the United States. The rates decreased in 55 counties in Ohio, increased in 13 and were unchanged in 20. The highest rate in the state was Monroe County, with 10.8 percent unemployment.