LISBON - Columbiana County's unemployment rate declined in September, dropping to a level not seen since the Great Recession began picking up speed in 2008.
The county's jobless rate was 7.3 percent last month compared to 7.6 percent in August, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in September 2011
Meanwhile, the state and U.S. unemployment rate also dropped last month - from 7.2 percent to 7 percent in Ohio, and from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent nationally.
The state estimated 3,700 county residents were jobless last month compared to 3,900 in August. The number of new claims for benefits dropped from 408 to 299 last month, while those continuing to receive benefits actually increased during the same period, from 2,403 to 2,614.
The number of people receiving first-time unemployment benefits dropped from 160 in August to 98 last month, while the number of those who exhausted their benefits increased from 42 to 52. The average weekly payment in September was $300, an increase of $5.
Among adjoining Ohio counties, the county's September unemployment rate was higher than Mahoning (6.9 percent), Carroll (6.9 percent) and Stark (6.5 percent) while lower than Jefferson (10.6 percent).
The county's jobless rate was the 28th highest among Ohio's 88 counties. Mercer County, with an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, continued to have the lowest jobless rate, while Pike County had the highest, at 11.5 percent.