OHIO VALLEY — Both Meigs and Gallia counties saw decreases in unemployment, according to the most recent numbers released for March by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Meigs County had the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the state, improving from its fourth-place finish as reported in last month’s statistics. Meigs County’s unemployment rate was 9.6 in March, down from February’s 10.2 percent.
Gallia County’s unemployment rate also decreased, going from 7.7 percent in February to 7.6 percent in March, which meant it ranked 18 out of 88 counties in terms of unemployment rates. The lowest unemployment rate in the state was in Holmes County at 3.6 percent. In terms of the state’s highest unemployment rate, that belonged to Monroe County at 13.4 percent.
Across the river in Mason County, W.Va., unemployment also declined to 8.1 percent in March, down from February’s 9 percent. Mason County was not alone with its decrease in unemployment, with 52 counties in West Virginia following that trend.
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in March 2016, up from a revised 5 percent in February. Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 18,300 over the month, from a revised 5,475,500 in February to 5,493,800 in March 2016. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in March was 294,000, up 9,000 from 285,000 in February. The number of unemployed has increased by 4,000 in the past 12 months from 290,000.
Goods-producing industries, at 906,900, lost 5,700 jobs over the month in manufacturing (-4,300), construction (-1,000), and mining and logging (-400). The private service-providing sector, at 3,809,700, added 17,100 jobs. Employment gains in professional and business services (+7,000), educational and health services (+5,400), other services (+2,200), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,500), financial activities (+1,100), and information (+100) surpassed losses in leisure and hospitality (-200). Government employment, at 777,200, increased 6,900 in local (+5,600), state (+1,200), and federal (+100) government.
From March 2015 to March 2016, nonagricultural wage and salary employment grew 94,700. Employment in goods-producing industries increased 8,300. Construction added 10,300 jobs. Manufacturing employment increased 1,300 as gains in nondurable goods (+5,900) exceeded losses in durable goods (-4,600). Mining and logging lost 3,300 jobs over the year. The private service-providing sector added 77,700 jobs. Gains occurred in educational and health services (+25,300), leisure and hospitality (+17,900), trade, transportation, and utilities (+15,200), financial activities (+7,100), other services (+6,200), professional and business services (+5,300), and information (+700). Government employment increased 8,700 with gains in local (+5,200), state (+2,700), and federal (+800) government.
The March unemployment rate for Ohio was equal to the March 2015 rate of 5.1 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate for March was 5 percent, up from 4.9 percent in February and down from 5.5 percent in March 2015.
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