LIMA — Unemployment rates went up in seven of the eight regional counties in May. The number of unemployed people was steady in most counties, while the number of people working and the labor force both grew, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Putnam County was the only area county to see its rate go down, from 3.0 percent in April to 2.9 percent in May. The number of unemployed people in that county stayed steady, while the number of employed people and the civilian labor force each grew by 300.
In Allen County, the unemployment rate grew from 4.0 percent in April to 4.1 percent in May. An additional 300 people entered the workforce during the month, though, as employment returned to 46,700 in the county, tying for its highest this year.
There continues to be a dichotomy, though. Despite people still looking for work, there were 1,443 jobs within 10 miles of downtown Lima listed on OhioMeansJobs.com website Tuesday afternoon.
In Auglaize County, the rate went up to 3.0 percent in May from 2.8 percent in April, despite 200 more people working because the labor force grew by 300.
In general, the area had unemployment rates well below the state average of 4.2 percent in May. Five of the 10-lowest rates are in the region, and seven of the 15-lowest rates are in the region.
Mercer County maintained its hold on the lowest rate in the state, at 2.5 percent in May, up from April’s 2.3 percent.
The highest unemployment rate in Ohio was 6.5 percent, in Monroe County in southeast Ohio.
Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.