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Ohio unemployment rate highest in nearly 15 years

Tom Jackson • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Ohio's unemployment rate is the highest it's been since October 1993, nearly 15 years ago.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services issued a news release last week reporting that the unemployment rate in Ohio was 6.6 percent in June. (The U.S. rate was 5.5 percent, while the Erie County rate was 5.9 percent.)

The Ohio Republican Party picked up on the statistic in a recent news release criticizing Gov. Ted Strickland for creating a new $115,000-a-year job in the Ohio Department of Development for an incumbent Republican lawmaker, Jim Raussen. Raussen's exit from his House race makes it more likely Democrats will pick up an additional House seat.

"Ohio's unemployment rate is at its highest level in 15 years, but at least the Strickland administration managed to create one job this month," said Kevin DeWine, deputy chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.

I didn't want to trust a partisan news release, so I called Job and Family Services spokesman Brian Harter.

"The last time it was 6.6 percent was October of 1993," Harter said.

The governor in 1993 was George Voinovich, a Republican. Voinovich, now a U.S. senator, was governor from 1991 to 1998.

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