County employment holds firm in May


DARKE COUNTY — Unemployment numbers increased in 55 of Ohio’s 88 counties from April to May, but Darke County was not one of them. The local unemployment rate held fairly steady, shifting downward slightly from 4.0 percent in April to 3.9 percent in May, according to information just released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Office of Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Market Information.

Darke County’s unemployment rate in May was the 11th best in the state. County unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held at 5.2 percent from April to May, which is a half percent better than the rate a year ago.

The civilian labor force in Ohio increased by about 3,000 from an estimated 5,750,000 workers in April to 5,753,000 in May, with the labor force participation rate at 63 percent. The population of working age people in the state increase by about 4,000.

The U.S. unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, was 5.5 percent in May 2015, a slight increase from 5.4 percent in April and down from 6.3 percent in May of last year.

In Darke County, the labor force in May was estimated at 26,000 people, with 25,000 of those listed as employed. The size of the labor force increased by about 300 people from April to May.

Among the state’s 88 counties, preliminary May 2015 unemployment rates ranged from a low of 3.1 percent in Mercer County to a high of 9.4 percent in Monroe County. From April, unemployment rates decreased in 16 counties, increased in 55 counties and stayed the same in 17 counties. The comparable (not seasonally adjusted) rate for Ohio was 4.9 percent in May.

Four counties had unemployment rates below 3.5 percent in May. The counties with the lowest rates, other than Mercer, were Delaware, Holmes and Wyandot at 3.4 percent for all three.

Seven counties had unemployment rates at or above 7.0 percent in May. The counties with the highest rates, other than Monroe, were Meigs, 7.4 percent; Scioto, 7.1 percent; and Adams, Jackson, Jefferson and Noble, 7.0 percent.

Surrounding county rates of unemployment for May 2015 were as follows: Auglaize, 3.6; Mercer, 3.1; Miami, 4.2; Montgomery, 4.9; Preble, 4.5; and Shelby, 4.3 percent.