County jobless rates fall as workers drop out of workforce

In January, the unemployment rate and pool of unemployed residents declined year-over-year in counties across southwest Ohio, according to labor data released Tuesday.

But the declines are largely attributable to workers dropping out of the labor force. The number of residents with jobs in the region has remained flat or dipped.

Between January 2012 and January 2013, employment declined by 1 percent in Clark, Greene, Hamilton, Miami and Montgomery counties. Employment dipped only slightly in Butler County, but remained flat in Warren County. Champaign County’s payrolls grew by 2 percent.

In January, the local unemployment rate varied in the region from 7.1 percent in Warren County to 8.8 percent in Montgomery County. The jobless rate fell in every local county, except Greene, where it remained flat.

The number of unemployed residents decreased in every local county between January 2012 and January 2013. The largest declines were in Butler County (-11 percent), Clark County (-7 percent) and Champaign County (-6 percent). The smallest decline was in Greene County (-2 percent).

Declining unemployment is tied to the shrinking labor force. Every county saw a decrease except Champaign County. Labor force participation is shrinking because older workers are retiring and some discouraged workers are giving up the hunt for work.

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