Unemployment rate increases

Seneca County’s jobless rate increased in January from December, but is lower than estimates from the same time last year.

According to information released Tuesday from Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in January, a 0.5 percent increase from December. The January 2017 rate was 6.2 percent.

According to statistics, there were about 25,700 people employed in January, a 500-person decrease from December. The figure was the same in January last year.

The civilian labor force, the estimate of all people working or looking for work, was 26,600 in January, which is 300 less than the estimate for December. There were 26,900 in the workforce in January 2017.

Unemployment estimates in surrounding counties noted increases across the board. Ottawa County had the highest unemployment rate in January with 9 percent, and reported 10.2 percent unemployment in January 2017. The lowest area rate in January was Hancock County with 3.5 percent, which is better than the 4.6 percent mark posted in January last year.

Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. President and CEO David Zak said the increase in the rate from December to January is “typical” each year. The local figures provided are not seasonally adjusted.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Ohio was 4.7 percent in January, down from 4.9 percent in December and down from 5.2 percent in January 2017. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in January, which was the same rate in December and is down from 4.8 percent in January 2017.