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Jobless rates a mixed bag locally

Melissa Topey • Jan 29, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Ottawa County ranked third in Ohio for the highest unemployment rate, at 11.5 percent. Monroe County (14.6 percent) and Pike County (11.7 percent) held the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively.

“No one wants to be in the Top 3 in that category,” Ottawa County commissioner JoEllen Regal said.

Even so, Ottawa County is enduring its normal seasonal unemployment adjustment, Regal said. She expects the numbers to improve as the summer approaches, with restaurants, hotels and other tourist businesses reopening and hiring seasonal workers.

Huron County ranked sixth in the state, with an unemployment rate of 10.8 percent — up from November, and also up from December 2012.

Construction slowed down and Janesville Acoustics started to let some employees go in December, both of which are suspected factors in Huron County’s condition, Huron County commissioner Joe Hintz said.

“We stick out there like a bruise on a forehead,” Hintz said, referencing neighboring Erie and Lorain counties, which typically have much lower unemployment rates.

Erie County saw unemployment rates of 7.4 percent, down from the month prior and up slightly from the same month last year.

Lorain County’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, up modestly from November and the same as December 2012.

Sandusky County’s unemployment rate in December, down from November, ranked 48th among Ohio’s 88 counties.

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