LIMA — Area unemployment numbers were mixed in December for the nine-county Lima region.
The unemployment rate was down in Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby and Van Wert counties, while it was up in Hancock, Hardin, Logan and Putnam Counties.
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.5% in December of 2020, down from 5.7% a month earlier. That compares to an unemployment rate of 4.1% in December of 2019.
“The decline in Ohio’s unemployment rates —which was due to fewer Ohioans looking for work and instead leaving the labor force — does not mask the weakness in the December jobs report,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr. executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute and vice president of policy. “For the first time since the recession began, the number of Ohioans employed in the private sector fell by 6,500.”
The U.S. unemployment rate for December was 6.7%, which is unchanged from November and compares to 3.6% in December 2019.
Looking at the county-by-county data, Allen County went from 5.3% in November to 5.2% in December. Allen County saw a decrease of 1.4 percentage points between December 2019 and December 2020.
Auglaize County’s November numbers was 3.8%, and in December it was 3.7%. Auglaize County’s unemployment rate increased 0.9 percentage points comparing December 2019 to December 2020 figures.
Putnam County gained 0.2 percentage points, rising from 3.2% in November to 3.4% in December. Putnam County’s unemployment rate increased 0.4% from December 2019 to December 2020.
In Hancock County, the unemployment rate went from 4% to 4.1% in December.
In Hardin County, the November numbers were 4.7%, but in December jumped to 5.1%.
Logan County went from 4.2% in November to 4.3% in December.
Mercer County, with the area’s lowest unemployment rate, dropped from 3.1% to 3% in December.
Van Wert County dropped 0.1%, going from 4.1% in November to 4% in December.
Statewide, the number of workers unemployed in Ohio in December was 315,000, down from 328,000 in November. The number of unemployed workers has increased by 78,000 in the past 12 months from 237,000.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.