County jobless rate rises to 7.1 percent

Following a steady three-month decline, Seneca County’s unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points in May. A rise in the number of people listed as employed was negated by an increase in the labor force

According to civilian labor force estimates from Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the county’s jobless rate was 7.1 percent in May, up from 6.9 percent in April. The jobless rate is the second lowest for the year, although unemployment has been declining since hitting 8.9 percent in January, the highest since February 2012 when the rate was at 9.4 percent.

The unemployment rate also is a slight increase from 7 percent in May 2012. Last year, the unemployment average was 7.5 percent.

According to estimates, more people were jobless in May, with 2,000 people considered unemployed compared to 1,900 in April. Meanwhile, 26,100 were listed as employed in May, compared to 25.900 in April.

The civilian labor force, the estimate of all people working or seeking work, grew to 28,100 in May compared to 27,800 in April. The estimate is the highest since 28,200 in November 2012.

Most surrounding counties reported a lower unemployment rate from April. Hancock County had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, an increase from 5.3 percent in April, and Huron County reported the highest at 8.9 percent, which was down from 10.3 in April. Ottawa County had the most significant decrease, with a 7.7 percent unemployment rate in May compared to 9 percent in April.

Nationally, the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate increased to 7.6 percent in May from 7.5 percent in April, which is 0.6 percent lower than 8.2 percent in May 2012.

Ohio’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stayed steady at 7 percent in May. The unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in May 2012.