OHIO VALLEY — The latest numbers released this week show unemployment is declining in Meigs and Gallia counties but is on the rise in Mason County.
On the Ohio side of the river, unemployment was on the decline in both Meigs and Gallia counties though Meigs was ranked at number two in terms of having the highest unemployment rate in the state. In May, Meigs’ unemployment rate was at 11.7 percent, down from April’s 12.2 percent. Meigs came in behind Pike County which once again had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 12.6 percent. Filling out the “top five” in terms of high unemployment in Ohio are Scioto County at 10.5 percent, Morgan County at 10.4 percent and Jefferson County at 10.1 percent.
Gallia County’s unemployment rate for May was 8.6 percent, down from April’s 9.4 percent. Gallia County was ranked at number 14 out of 88 counties when it came to having the highest unemployment rate in the state. Mercer County had the lowest unemployment rate in Ohio at 4.2 percent.
Other unemployment rates of note across the Buckeye State include: Franklin County, 6.2 percent; Cuyahoga County, 7.1 percent; Hamilton County, 6.7 percent; Athens County, 7.8 percent; Jackson County, 8.6 percent; Vinton County, 9.5 percent; Lawrence County, 7.1 percent.
Ohio’s unemployment rate for May was 7.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent in April. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in May was 426,000, down from 431,000 in April. The number of unemployed has decreased by 86,000 in the past 12 months from 512,000. Service providing industries increased 10,700 over the month to 4.3 million. Job growth occurred in professional and business services by 4,500 jobs, educational and health services by 4,300 jobs, leisure and hospitality by 2,900 jobs, other services by 1,400 jobs and financial activities by 800 jobs. Losses occurred in trade, transportation and utilities by losing 2,100 jobs; government lost 1,000 jobs; and information lost 100 jobs.
On the West Virginia side of the Ohio River, Mason County’s unemployment rate for May was at 11.1 percent, up from April’s 10.4 percent unemployment rate. Last May, Mason County had an unemployment rate of 11.3 percent, virtually the same as it is one year later. Mason County ended up in the “top four” counties in the state when it comes to unemployment rates and counties which have more than 11 percent unemployment. Those other counties are Webster with 12 percent, Boone with 12.5 percent and Pocahontas with 14.4 percent unemployment. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates and rates below six percent were Putnam at 5.8 percent, Jefferson at 5.3 percent and Monongalia at 5 percent unemployment.
Unemployment was also on the rise across the Mountain State, raising two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in May. The number of unemployed state residents rose 1,900 to 55,600. Total unemployment was down 7,500 over the year. Within the goods-producing sector, employment declines of 1,400 in mining and logging and 400 in manufacturing offset a gain of 800 in construction. Within the service-providing sector, employment declines included 700 in trade, transportation and utilities, 400 in professional and business services, 300 in leisure and hospitality, 200 in educational and health services and 200 in other services. Employment gains included 400 in financial activities and 100 in government.
The U.S. unemployment rate for May was 8.2 percent up from 8.1 percent in April. This means the unemployment rates for both West Virginia (6.9 percent) and Ohio (7.3 percent) are still below the national unemployment rate.
Workforce West Virginia and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provided statistics for this article.