By CARL E. FEATHER - email@example.com
The county’s unemployment rate rose in November to 8.6 percent, according to estimates released Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The October rate was 7.9 percent, at which time there were 43,600 Ashtabula County residents employed part- or full-time. There were 700 fewer persons working in November, but the number of persons counted as unemployed increased by just 200. The other 500 were shed in the size of the civilian labor force, 46,900, which suggests those 500 gave up looking for work or left the area.
The estimates are not adjusted for seasonal variations, such as retail hiring during the holidays.
The county’s rate remains the highest in northeast Ohio and was nearly a full percentage point above the next-highest county, Trumbull, whose rate was 7.7 percent. The rate in neighboring Lake County was 6.1 percent in November.
Pike County in southern Ohio had the state’s highest unemployment rate, 11.9 percent, while the lowest was in Mercer County, 3.9 percent.
Ohio’s rate, not seasonally adjusted, was 6.5 percent and the national rate was 7.4 percent in November. In both cases, the seasonably adjusted rates were higher.
The county had its lowest unemployment of the year, 7.9 percent, in October. A monthly rate had not been that low since September 2008, when it was 7.7 percent.
The highest rate of 2012 came in January, 11.4 percent, and until the November rate was released, the trend had been a steady decline in both the rate and the estimate of the number of persons unemployed. In November 2011, that number was 4,300.