Local jobless rate inches up

WARREN – The area’s jobless faced a more difficult employment climate in May compared to a month earlier and a year ago, according to Youngstown-Warren numbers released Tuesday by the state Department of Job and Family Services.

The unemployment rate for the Youngstown Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Trumbull and Mahoning counties, hit 7.7 percent in May, up from 7.6 percent in April and up more than a half-point from 7.1 percent in May 2012. Despite the uptick, the 7.7 percent unemployment rate still beat rates for each month in the first quarter of this year.

The size of the local civilian labor force was listed at 212,000 for May, the same figure as a year ago.

Among local statistics, Trumbull County reported the lowest local jobless rate for May at 7.6 percent. A year ago, the number was 7 percent. By comparison, Mahoning County reported a jobless rate of 7.7 percent, also up from 7.2 percent a year ago.

Municipal unemployment numbers also showed an increase. Warren reported 8.2 percent, up slightly from 8.1 percent a year ago. Youngstown unemployment hit 9.6 percent in May, up nearly a half point from 9.2 percent in May 2012.

Statewide, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in May, unchanged from April and down from 7.3 percent in May 2012, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The U.S. unemployment rate for May was 7.6 percent, up slightly from 7.5 percent in April and down from 8.2 percent in May 2012.