Local jobless rates fall in April

Regional jobless rates declined sharply last month as employment rose in most counties and major cities, based on numbers released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

In Montgomery County, the area’s most populous county, the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent from 4.8 percent in March and 4.7 percent in the same month a year ago, according to the jobs report. Meanwhile, countywide employment grew by 1,100 to 240,300 over the same period.

Neighboring Greene County posted an April unemployment rate of 3.6 percent, down from 4.1 percent in the previous month and 4 percent a year ago. At the same time, employment grew by 300 to 78,300.

The City of Dayton saw unemployment drop to 5 percent from 5.7 percent in March and 5.6 percent in April 2016 as employment grew by 200 to 55,400.

While employment was up and jobless rates were down, the labor force — or the number of people working or actively seeking jobs — shrank last month in many counties and cities for the first time this year.

Montgomery County’s workforce fell by 400 to 250,800 in April. Greene County’s workforce contracted by 200 to 81,100, and the City of Dayton also saw 200 drop out of the labor force last month, shrinking the size of its labor pool to 58,300.

Still, all 88 Ohio counties in Ohio saw a decline in unemployment last month, ranging from a low of 2.5 percent in Mercer County to a high of 7.6 percent in Monroe County.

However, city and county unemployment figures are not adjusted for seasonal hiring patterns and, therefore, do not coincide with the adjusted jobless rate for the state and U.S., which both showed only a slight decline last month.

Ohio’s unemployment ticked down to 5 percent in April from 5.1 percent in March. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in a decade last month at 4.4 percent — the lowest level since May 2007 — but that was down just 0.1 percentage points from March.

The U.S. added 211,000 non-farm jobs in April. By comparison, Ohio employers shed 5,700 jobs last month and have eliminated nearly 10,000 positions statewide in the past two months.

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