Unemployment rates shift

November unemployment figures show the season has taken its expected yearly toll on business in a few area counties.
Melissa Topey
Dec 28, 2013
Ottawa County saw its November unemployment figure rise to 11.1 percent, a 3 percent increase from 8.1 percent in October, according to data released Friday by Ohio Job and Family Services.

There are about 2,400 people unemployed in Ottawa County.

A 3 percent swing is normal at this time of the year, said Stephanie Kowal, director of Ottawa County Job and Family Services.

“This year is stepped up a little with Medicaid expansion and conversion to a new integrated eligibility system,” Kowal said. “Also new will be the change in rules for those receiving unemployment insurance, with reference to meeting the job search assistants and state ODJFS staff to help with reconnecting them to the work force”

Huron County also saw unemployment increase to double digits. November unemployment in Huron County rose to 10.1 percent, an increase from 9.4 percent.

There are about 2,700 people categorized as unemployed, according to the state agency. Huron county has a work force of 23,700.

Erie County remained stable, with a slight decrease to 7.6 percent in November from 7.7 percent in October.

There were about 3,000 people unemployed out of a labor force of 39,300.

Erie County is lucky to have a tourism base that helps to create a pretty consistent unemployment number when combined with key area manufacturing, said Pat Shenigo, Erie County commissioner.

“We are encouraged with the additional jobs created by IAC (International Automotive Components in Huron). We have to continue adding jobs and continuing to support tourism in Erie County,” Shenigo said.

IAC added about 140 jobs this past summer.

Sandusky County saw unemployment at 7 percent in November, up from 6.8 percent in October. About 2,200 people were officially counted on the unemployment rolls in that county out of a work force of 29,700.

Ohio’s unemployment figure for November was 7.4 percent.