Summit County’s jobless rate in April fell to its lowest level for that month since 2008.
The county’s rate dropped to 6.4 percent last month, its lowest since April 2008 when the rate was 5.1 percent, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.
The Summit County rate was 7 percent in March and 6.8 percent in April 2012.
Experts say year-to-year comparisons of jobless rates are more accurate because month-to-month data are not adjusted to take into account seasonal factors.
Akron’s jobless rate dropped to 7.1 percent from 7.7 percent in March and 7.7 percent in April of 2012.
In Cuyahoga Falls, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.0 percent from 6.5 percent in March and 6.5 percent in April 2012.
The comparable rate for Ohio was 6.7 percent this April.
In Summit County, the number of people working last month increased to 264,000 — up 3,700 from 260,300 a year ago. The number of unemployed in the county decreased to 18,000 compared to 19,000 in April 2012.
The peak employment for the month since 2000 was in April 2008, when there were 279,400 people working.
The survey results released Tuesday also show that the number of people in the labor force — those working or looking for work — increased in Summit compared to a year ago. The labor force totaled 282,000. That’s up from 279,300 in April 2012 and down by 800 people since March.
Statewide, the picture is worse. Survey results statewide show that the labor force decreased by 3,000 from March and 23,000 from a year ago. Experts say this indicates that many so-called “discouraged workers” have stopped looking for work and dropped out of the labor force.
In other jobs-related news released Tuesday, the state said that the number of people working in Summit and Portage counties grew by 3,500 from March to 329,200 in April. Goods-producing industries in the two-county Akron metro area gained 1,100 jobs, with construction, logging and mining work offsetting a loss of 400 jobs in manufacturing. Service industries, meanwhile, grew by 2,500 jobs, to 228,300.
The number of people working in the two-county metro area was up 5,900 from April 2012.
Unemployment rates, meanwhile, declined from March to April in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. April 2013 rates ranged from a low of 4.1 percent in rural Mercer County, bordering Indiana, to a high of 12.1 percent in southern Ohio’s Pike County, which typically has higher unemployment rates.
Six counties had unemployment rates below 5.5 percent in April. In addition to Mercer, they were: Holmes, 4.4 percent; Delaware, 4.5; Auglaize, 4.9; Union, 5.0; and Hancock, 5.3.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781.