LIMA — Unemployment rates dropped in all nine area counties between July and August, but how good of news that was really depended on where you live, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
The average unemployment rate in the nine-county region dropped nearly 0.5 percentage points in the one-month span, led by a 0.8 percentage point drop in Allen County. The rate fell from 5.9 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August.
That doesn’t mean more people have jobs, though. The number of employed people actually dropped by 300 people. The number of unemployed people also dropped, though, by 400 people, and the labor force contracted by 800 people, causing the rate to decline.
There are still opportunities out there, though. OhioMeansJobs.com reports there were 1,510 jobs available within 10 miles of Lima as of noon Tuesday.
Van Wert County had the second-largest change, a 0.7 percentage point change down to 4 percent unemployment in August. In that county’s case, the number of employed people went up by 100, the number of unemployed people went down, and the labor force remained steady. It was the 10th lowest rate in Ohio.
Shelby County also had a 0.7 percentage point change, down to 4.3 percent.
Hardin County saw its rate dip 0.6 percentage points to 5.3, as its labor force and number of employed people grew by 100 in the previous month.
In terms of new jobs, Putnam County had one of the most impressive performances. Four hundred more people were employed, and the number of unemployed dropped by 100 as the labor force grew. The end result was a 3.6 percent unemployment rate, the second-lowest rate in the state behind Mercer County’s 3.2 percent.
Auglaize County’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent, as its number of employed and labor force each grew by 100 while the number of unemployed people stayed steady. It had the seventh-lowest unemployment rate in Ohio.
Allen County’s rate dropped 0.8 percentage points, from 5.9 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August. There was a similarly large 0.7 percentage point fall in Shelby County (4.3 percent) and Van Wert County (4 percent). Hardin County dipped 0.6 percentage points to 5.3 percent, while Putnam County fell 0.4 percentage points to 3.6 percent.
There was a 0.3 percentage point change in Auglaize County (3.9 percent), Logan County (4.2 percent), Mercer County (3.2 percent), and a 0.2 percentage point change in Hancock County (3.9 percent).