County jobless rate falls to 3.8%

LISBON — Columbiana County’s unemployment rate in April plummeted to its lowest level in nearly 45 years.

The county’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent last month from 4.9 percent in March, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The jobless rate was last this low in July 1974, when President Richard Nixon was one month away from resigning because of the Watergate scandal.

The jobless rate declined in all 88 Ohio counties.

The number of county residents receiving unemployment benefits dropped by 650 in April to 1,749, a 28 percent decline. The average weekly benefit was $371.

The number of countians with jobs in April was an estimated 45,300, an increase of 200 from March. The record for the number of people employed in the county was 51,700 in 2000, when the workforce was 54,366. The workforce in April was an estimated 47,100.

Among adjoining Ohio counties, the county’s unemployment rate was lower than Mahoning (4.9 percent), Jefferson (4.6 percent) and Carroll (3.9 percent) but higher than Stark (3.6 percent).

The county’s rate was the 29th highest.

County rates are not seasonally adjusted, which tends to be lower than the seasonably adjusted numbers. For example, the state’s seasonably adjusted unemployment rate in April was 3.3 percent but 4.3 percent when not adjusted. The seasonably adjusted unemployment rate nationwide last month was also 3.3 percent, but 3.6 percent when not adjusted.