Jobless rate drops in Dayton region

Jobless rates fell across the Miami Valley last month as state and local labor markets continued to rebound from a slow start to the year.

In Dayton, the April unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 6.3 percent in March as the number of people employed in the city grew by 100 to 55,200, according to figures released Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The trend was the same for most counties in the local area and across the state, where unemployment rates declined in all 88 counties last month, ranging from a low of 2.9 percent in Mercer County to a high of 8.5 percent in Monroe County.

In Montgomery County, the unemployment rate slid to 4.7 percent from 5.4 percent over the past two months as employment grew by 400 to 236,300.

Miami and Greene counties also saw their jobless rates fall as hiring picked up steam.

Unemployment in Miami County fell to 4.1 percent last month from 4.9 percent in March. Meanwhile, Greene County posted an April unemployment rate of 4 percent, down from 4.6 percent in the previous month.

City and county rates are not adjusted for seasonal hiring trends, and, therefore, are not comparable to the state rate, which edged up to 5.2 percent in April from 5.1 percent in March as the state added 6,400 non-farm jobs, the state jobs department reported earlier this month.

“Ohio mirrored the nation in seeing a jobs rebound in April,” said Zach Schiller, research director at Policy Matters Ohio. “However, we need more robust gains in jobs to employ all the Ohioans who need work.”

The U.S. labor market snapped back from a slowdown in hiring through the first three months of the year tied to harsh winter weather, declining oil prices and a labor dispute at West Coast ports.

The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April as the jobless rate ticked down to 5.4 percent — the lowest level since mid-2008. That was after a March gain of 85,000 jobs, the worst monthly performance in almost three years.

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