Chris Stewart

Jobless rates jump in Dayton area

Regional jobless rates edged higher in January and every Ohio county saw an increase in its unemployment rates, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

In Montgomery County, the area’s most populous county, the unemployment rate climbed to 5.7 percent in January from 4.6 percent in December and was above last year’s 5.4 percent during the same month, according to the jobs report.

The city of Dayton saw unemployment reach 6.7 percent in January, up from 5.4 percent in December and up from the 6.4rate in December 2015.

Neighboring Greene County posted a January unemployment rate of 5 percent, up from 4.1 percent in December and 4.9 percent in December 2015.

By comparison, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 6 percent in January, up from 4.8 percent in December and 5.6 percent in December 2015.

The state loss 2,100 jobs in January while unemployment rates increased in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. The highest unemployment was in Monroe County at 12.8 percent and lowest was Mercer County at 3.9 percent.

The national jobless rate increased mainly because more than a half million sidelined workers (584,000) were lured back into the workforce, according to the jobs report. Workers re-entering the workforce or joining for the first time are counted as unemployed until they find a job, which can push up the jobless rate.

RELATED: Ohio unemployment shrinks along with workforce

The prospect of better job opportunities bolstered by President Trump’s pro-business, pro-growth policy goals was undoubtedly a factor convincing hundreds of thousands of discouraged workers to resume their job searches, according to at least one expert.

“There’s some confidence about the Trump administration and the promise of him walking back a lot of regulation, and I think people are optimistic they’ve be able to find jobs,” said Orphe Divounguy, an economist at The Buckeye Institute, a right-leaning think-tank in Columbus.

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