Jobless rate hits 6-year low

WARREN – After reaching a high this year of 8.5 percent in January, area jobless numbers have consistently dropped, and last month hit a 6 1/2-year low of 6 percent in Trumbull and Mahoning counties, according to April statistics released Tuesday by the state Department of Job and Family Services.

The number is second only to November 2007, when the area’s unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent, prior to the start of the Great Recession.

While the size of the civilian labor force the number of civilians either employed or actively seeking employment in the two-county area is substantially smaller now than it was in 2007, the number of unemployed also has dropped.

Statistics released Tuesday indicated April’s labor force is made up of 205,600 people. Of that number 12,300 are jobless. By comparison, 12,600 members of the 220,100-person labor force were unemployed in November 2007.

Area jobless numbers for Trumbull and Mahoning counties also stood at 6 percent for April.

A year ago, unemployment rates for the combined market area was 7.9 percent. One month earlier, in March, it was 7.1 percent.

Municipal unemployment rates also dropped significantly to 6.6 percent in April for Warren and 7.3 percent for Youngstown. Last year at this time, unemployment for Warren stood two points higher at 8.6 percent, and Youngstown was more than 2 points higher at 9.7 percent.

The statewide numbers for April, released last week, put Ohio’s unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, down from 6.1 percent in March.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in April was 328,000, down 26,000 from 354,000 in March. The number of unemployed has decreased by 94,000 in the past 12 months from 422,000. The April unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.3 percent in April 2013.

The U.S. unemployment rate for April was 6.3 percent, down from 6.7 percent in March, and down from 7.5 percent in April 2013.

blinert@tribtoday.com