County unemployment rate inches down to 3.8%

By Josh Ellerbrock -

LIMA — Allen County’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in November — a decrease of 0.2% over last month — as economic returns helped an estimated 200 people find work, according to the latest labor market information.

Allen County’s unemployment rate in 2019 dropped to its lowest in April 2019, when it hit 3.0%. The county’s highest rate of 2019 was reported to be 5.1% in January of the same year.

Regionally, the neighboring counties of Mercer, Auglaize and Putnam have kept low unemployment rates that rank as some of the best in the state. The latest reports set Mercer County’s unemployment rate at 2.4%, Auglaize County’s rate at 2.8% and Putnam County’s rate at 2.9%. The three counties are counted among the nine in Ohio that have rates lower than 3.0%.

Other regional counties report rates of 3.8% in Hardin County and 3.4% in Van Wert County.

In comparison, Monroe County, located in southeast Ohio along the border with West Virginia, ranked as the Ohio county with the highest unemployment rate set at 8.6%.

Geographically, most of the lowest county employment rates in the state are concentrated on the western portion of Ohio with higher reported rates being set in the south and east.

While the unemployment rate stays low across the country, inflation rates have yet to respond accordingly — a phenomena that has gone against much of traditional economic theory. For example, Allen County’s unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was reported to be 9.7% in 1979, but when per capita income is adjusted for inflation, the buying power of 1979’s average income (set at $26,000) is similar to the latest 2018 county per capita income estimated at $26,678.

Current numbers put Allen County’s November 2019 labor force at 48,300 people with 46,500 employed and 1,900 unemployed. The county’s unemployment rate in November of last year was set at 4.0%.

Nationally, the U.S. unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, was estimated to be 3.5% in November, or .7% lower than Ohio’s seasonally adjusted rate of 4.2%.

Unemployment rates set for Ohio counties are not seasonally adjusted.

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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