Summit County’s jobless rate last month fell below 6 percent to 5.9 percent. That’s the county’s lowest unemployment rate since May 2008, when it was 5.3 percent.
Jobless rates fell in 74 out of Ohio’s 88 counties in October, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Mercer County had the lowest jobless rate in the state at 3.8 percent, while Pike County had the highest at 11.5 percent.
Summit County’s unemployment rate in September was 6.2 percent; the rate was 7.9 percent in October 2011.
There were 268,700 people working in the county last month and 17,000 people counted as unemployed. In October 2011, there were 263,500 people counted as working in Summit County and 22,500 counted as unemployed.
While the jobless rate figures show real improvement since the Great Recession started in late 2007, the number of people working last month in Summit County falls short of peak figures for October dating to 2000. In October 2006, there were 283,200 people employed in Summit County and 13,900 unemployed; the jobless rate then was 4.7 percent.
The number of people working in Summit County in October bottomed out at 262,800 in 2009 and again in 2010.
The unemployment rate does not count people who have stopped looking for work or who are working part time but want a full-time job.
Akron’s jobless rate dropped to 6.5 percent in October, down from 6.8 percent in September and 8.7 percent a year ago.
The unemployment rate in Cuyahoga Falls fell to 5.8 percent last month from 5.9 percent in September and is down from 7.6 percent a year ago.
A different take on employment showed that the number of people working in Summit and Portage counties, called the Akron metropolitan statistical area, rose by 3,000 people to 330,400 in October. Jobs in service industries rose by 2,900 in the two counties to 275,000. The number of people working in goods-producing industries, which includes manufacturing, was up 100 to 55,400 in the Akron metro area, the state reported.
Elsewhere in Northeast Ohio:
• Cuyahoga County’s unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in October from 7 percent in September; the rate a year ago was 7.2 percent. Cleveland’s jobless rate dropped to 7.9 percent from 8.9 percent in September and 9.5 percent a year ago.
• Medina County had a 5 percent unemployment rate, down from 5.4 percent in September and 5.8 percent a year ago.
• Portage County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent from 5.9 percent in September and 7.5 percent in October 2011.
• Stark County had an October jobless rate of 6.2 percent, down from 6.5 percent the previous month and 8.5 percent a year ago. Canton’s unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent from 7.6 percent in September and 10.3 percent a year ago.
• Wayne County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent from 5.5 percent in September and 7.1 percent in October 2011.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.