Allen County sees record low unemployment

By Mackenzi Klemann -

LIMA — Allen County saw historic low unemployment in March, according to the latest figures released by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services on Tuesday.

The county’s unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points from February to 3.9% in March, the lowest unemployment rate recorded in Allen County since October 2000. This is now just the fourth time since 1970 that Allen County has seen unemployment fall below 4%.

There were 2,005 jobs advertised within 10 minutes of Lima on on Tuesday afternoon.

Unemployment was down across the entire nine-county region in March.

Mercer County led the region and state with 2.4% unemployment, another record low for that county, although it has seen 2.4% unemployment three times in the last two years.

Auglaize (2.9%), Hancock (2.9%), Van Wert (3.1%) and Putnam (3.1%) counties were all in the top 10 counties with the lowest unemployment rates in Ohio in March.

Shelby and Logan counties weren’t far behind, both at 3.4% unemployment in March, while Hardin County reported 3.8% unemployment that month.

The region fared better than other parts of Ohio, particularly counties in the southeast region of the state. Monroe County, located on the West Virginia-Ohio border, reported 9.1% unemployment in March, the highest in the state.

Ohio’s overall unemployment rate was 4.4% in March, down 0.2 percentage points from February but still higher than the national average of 3.8%.

Preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Ohio added 6,300 private sector jobs in March, an improvement over February’s jobs report in which the state lost 9,200 private-sector jobs, according to revised BLS estimates for that month.

March job gains were concentrated in construction (plus-2,500), financial activities (plus-1,000), professional and business services (plus-1,200), education and health services (plus-2,600), and leisure and hospitality (2,100), according to preliminary BLS estimates for Ohio. Those estimates also show a loss of 2,400 manufacturing jobs and another loss of 1,600 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities.

By Mackenzi Klemann

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