County jobless rate slips up a few notches

LISBON – Columbiana County’s unemployment rate increased in November to 7.3 percent after dropping the month before to its lowest level since mid 2008.

The county’s jobless rate increased by 0.3 percent from October to November, with the number of unemployed estimated to have increased by 200 people to 3,800 last month, according to latest figures released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

While the county’s unemployment rate was increasing in November, the state and national averages dropped. Ohio’s unemployment rate declined from 6.9 percent to 6.8 percent, while the national average went from 7.9 percent to 7.7.

During the same period the number of new claims for unemployment benefits in the county increased from 436 in October to 564 last month, while 46 residents exhausted their benefits in November. The average benefit payment was $301 per week.

Among adjoining Ohio counties, the county’s November rate was higher than Mahoning (6.9 percent), Stark (6.4 percent) and Carroll (6.8 percent) but lower than Jefferson (9.9 percent).

The county’s jobless rate was the 27th highest among Ohio’s 88 counties.

Pike County in the southeastern part of the state remained the “leader” in unemployment, 11.9 percent. Mercer County, located along the Ohio-Indiana border, again had the lowest rate, 3.9 percent.