By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer
Summit County’s jobless rate fell in February and remained below levels seen a year ago.
The unemployment rate went from 7.1 percent in January to 6.5 percent in February and was down from 7.8 percent a year ago.
Looking back 14 years, the county’s unemployment rate was the lowest for February since 2008, when the jobless figure was 5.7 percent.
There were 262,500 people counted as employed last month in Summit County, down from a peak — since 2000 — of 275,600 also in February 2008. There were 256,200 people employed in the county a year ago.
The number of people working in February 2014 also was lower than in February 2000, when 265,800 people were counted as unemployed.
Jobless rates fell in 86 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Rates in two counties were unchanged from January, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Tuesday.
Akron’s unemployment rate fell from 7.8 percent in January to 7.1 percent last month; the rate a year ago was 8.6 percent.
Cuyahoga Falls had a 6 percent jobless rate last month, down from 6.6 percent in January and down from 7.3 percent a year ago.
Rates were not adjusted to take into account seasonal factors.
Ohio’s comparable jobless rate was 7 percent in February. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was 6.5 percent.
Rates ranged from a low of 4.3 percent in Mercer County to a high of 14.2 percent in Monroe County.
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.
The state reported that the Akron metro area, made up of Summit and Portage counties, had 326,500 jobs in February, up 1,300 from January and up 7,400 from a year ago.
From January to February, state jobs grew by 2,000 in the Akron metro area, while local government added 600 jobs. Manufacturing jobs fell by 100, while mining, logging and construction added 200 jobs. The private service sector lost 800 jobs from January to February.
Elsewhere in Northeast Ohio:
• Cuyahoga County’s unemployment rate fell from 8.8 percent in January to 8.2 percent in February, the same as in February 2013.
Cleveland’s jobless rate was 10.4 percent in February, down from 11.3 percent in January and the same as a year ago.
• Medina County had a February unemployment rate of 7.3 percent, down from 7.6 percent in January and down from 7.5 percent a year ago.
• Portage County’s jobless rate fell from 7.6 percent in January to 7 percent in February and was down from 8.2 percent in February 2013.
• Stark County’s unemployment rate last month was 7 percent, down from 7.5 percent in January and down from 8.3 percent a year ago. Canton’s unemployment rate was 8 percent last month, down from 8.6 percent in January and down from 9.3 percent in February 2013.
• Wayne County’s jobless rate fell to 5.7 percent in February from 6.2 percent in January. The rate a year ago was 6.9 percent.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org