DARKE COUNTY — County employment numbers improved in October; even with an increase in the size of the labor pool, jobs were able to keep up. Darke County’s unemployment rate went down to an estimated 3.4 percent in October, from 3.6 percent in September, according to information just released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Office of Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Market Information.
The county’s employment rate ranked 10th best in the state in October, which is one better than its September ranking. County unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.
The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continued its slow and steady decline in October, reaching 4.4 percent from September’s 4.5 percent. The rate in October 2014 was 5.2 percent.
The civilian labor force in Ohio grew from an estimated 5,695,000 in September to 5,702,000 in October, but job growth was able to keep pace. The labor force participation rate was estimated at 62.3 percent. In September, about 62.2 percent of the labor force was employed. The population of working age people in the state grew by about 5,000 in October.
The U.S. unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, was estimated at 5.0 percent in October, down from 5.1 percent in September. A year ago, in October 2014, U.S. unemployment was at 5.7 percent. An estimated 59.3 percent of the total population was working in October, nationwide.
In Darke County, the labor force in September was estimated at 26,500 people, with 25,600 of those listed as employed.
Among the state’s 88 counties, preliminary October 2015 unemployment rates ranged from a low of 2.8 percent in Mercer County to a high of 8.1 percent in Monroe County. From September, unemployment rates decreased in 45 counties, increased in 23 counties and did not change in 20 counties. The comparable (not seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Ohio was 4.2 percent in October.
Nine counties had unemployment rates at or below 3.3 percent in October. The counties with the lowest rates, other than Mercer, were Holmes, 2.9 percent; Wyandot, 3.0 percent; Auglaize, Delaware and Hancock, 3.1 percent; Putnam and Union, 3.2 percent; and Medina, 3.3 percent.
Four counties had unemployment rates at or above 6.5 percent in October. The counties with the highest rates, other than Monroe, were Meigs and Noble, 6.8 percent; and Scioto, 6.5 percent.
Surrounding counties’ rates of unemployment for October 2015 were as follows: Auglaize, 3.1 percent, down from 3.2 percent; Mercer, 2.8 percent, no change from September; Miami, 3.8 percent, no change; Montgomery, 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent; Preble, 4.2 percent, down from 4.1 percent; and Shelby, 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent.