Local June to July jobless rates mixed

Unemployment was mixed last month in most area cities and counties, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The jobless rate edged up in Montgomery County to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in June, and the rate also rose in Clark County from 7.4 percent to 7.5 percent over the same period, the jobs department reported.

Meanwhile, July rates fell by .02 percentage points in both Butler and Miami counties to 7.3 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The rates in Warren County (6.3 percent) and Greene County (7.2 percent) remained unchanged.

Among the major cities in the area, unemployment in Dayton held steady at 9.6 percent, while Springfield saw its rate rise from 7.8 percent to 8.1 percent. Kettering’s unemployment rate rose from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent, while Beavercreek unemployment rose from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent.

While city and county rates - which are not seasonally adjusted - remained relatively stable last month, the metro area saw a 200-worker dip in total employment.

“You slipped in both the numbers of people looking for work, and the number of people working,” said Bill LaFayette, an economist and workforce strategy consultant based in Columbus. “You’re not suppose to see that going from June to July when you typically see an increase in summer jobs.”

The youth labor force, in particular, typically grows in size and employment as high school and college students take summer jobs, and many graduates enter the labor market for the first time.

This summer, employment for workers age 16-24 grew nationally by 2.9 million, or 14.2 percent, to 23.5 million in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Still, LaFayette described the jobless numbers as “inconclusive” in determining where the economic recovery is headed locally.

“The news is not as good as we would hope just by looking at the rates themselves, but at least the situation is not getting any worse,” he said.

Statewide, Ohio’s unemployment rate was unchanged last month from 7.2 percent in June.

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