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Most county jobless rates much lower than a year ago

Unemployment rates fell significantly in February from a year ago in most southwest Ohio counties as some jobseekers found work and others left the job market altogether, a spokesman for the state jobs department said.

Butler County saw its jobless rate fall from 8.1 percent in February 2012 to 7 percent last month. Greene County saw its unemployment rate fall from 8 percent to 7.3 percent over the same period.

Clark County’s rate fell a full 1 percent to 7.4, while Champaign County’s fell seven-tenths of a percent to 7.3 percent.

Miami County’s rate fell only one-tenth of 1 percent to 8.3 percent. Montgomery County’s rate fell eight-tenths of 1 percent to 7.9 percent.

Warren County’s rate fell from 7.2 percent to 6.5 percent last month.

A similar drop occurred in the statewide jobless rate. It fell from 8.3 percent in February 2012 to 7.6 percent last month, according to the statistics released Tuesday.

The state and county rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Ben Johnson, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, said the steep drops most likely stem from a combination of people finding new jobs and others leaving the local job market.

The state added 33,000 nonagricultural jobs from February 2012 to last month, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the deparment said Friday.

Manufacturing gained 8,400 jobs, while construction lost 7,900 jobs. Private service industries added nearly 44,000 jobs, with educational and health services showing the largest gain within that category with 19,000 jobs added.

Government employment fell by 11,200, the department said.

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