Jobless rate continues to drop

LISBON – Columbiana County’s unemployment rate declined again in April but remains higher than the statewide average.

The county’s jobless rate dropped from 8.2 percent in March to 7.5 percent last month, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s unemployment rate in April declined by 0.1 percent to 7 percent, while the national jobless rate also dropped by the same margin to 7.5 percent.

The estimated number of unemployed county residents dropped from 4,200 in March to 3,800 last month, with 46,800 people listed as having jobs. Meanwhile, the number of new filings for benefits increased from 399 to 407 in April, while 64 people exhausted their benefits in April compared to 62 in March. The average weekly benefit was $314 in April.

Among the adjoining Ohio counties, the county’s rate was lower than Jefferson (9.4 percent) and Mahoning (7.6 percent) but higher than Stark (7 percent) and Carroll (6.8 percent).

The county’s April rate was the 30th highest among Ohio’s 88 counties, the same ranking as March. Pike County in southeastern Ohio continues to have the highest unemployment rate at 12.1 percent, while Mercer County along the Indiana border recorded the lowest jobless rate at 4.1 percent.

The unemployment rate is based on a formula that takes into account the number of people filing for and receiving unemployment benefits, plus the results of a monthly phone survey of 50,000 households nationwide, including 2,000 in Ohio.