By Wayne Gates –
The unemployment rate in Brown County and the surrounding area went down in November.
Brown County saw the biggest decline, with a drop of .4 percent to 4.8 percent. That is the lowest unemployment rate in the county since November of 1998.
Clermont County saw a drop of .3 percent, falling to 3.8 percent in November. Clinton and Highland counties both saw the jobless rate drop .2 percent in November to 4.7 and 5.2 percent respectively.
Adams County saw the only increase in the area, with the unemployment rate rising .1 percent to 5.9 percent in November.
Debora Plymail with Ohio Means Jobs Adams and Brown County said the job climate is as good as she has seen it in years.
“We are seeing more job openings coming in than we have ever seen before. Right now, it’s a job seekers market. If somebody wants to work, they can,” she said.
“Some of these are still lower-skilled jobs, they may not bring the pay that somebody might want right away but the jobs are out there.”
Plymail said that one thing that some people are still struggling with is underemployment.
“A lot of the times, we are helping people find an additional job. Some of them are working part-time because they are underemployed. We are working a lot with people who are employed. They are looking to get another part-time job or a full time job.”
Plymail added that a dip in the unemployment rate in November is unusual.
“Normally that’s the time that people are laying off from construction and other seasonal jobs. We usually see them going back to work sometime in February or March when things warm up,” she said.
Plymail said that unemployment is usually lower in urban and suburban areas and that Brown County is benefitting from the local Cincinnati economy.
“Brown County is a bedroom county to Clermont and Hamilton County for a lot of people. As the job market improves in those counties, those benefits start to show up in Brown County as well,” she said.
In the five county Cincinnati area tracked by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the unemployment rate dropped .3 percent in October to 3.8 percent. Those counties are Hamilton, Clermont, Butler, Warren and Brown counties.
Statewide, the jobless rate fell .3 percent in November to 4.2 percent.
Among the 88 counties in Ohio, the unemployment rate fell in 65 of them in November. It increased in 15 counties and stayed the same in eight more.
The lowest unemployment rate in the state was in Mercer County at 2.7 percent, followed by Holmes and Putnam counties at 3.0 percent. Four Ohio counties, Hancock, Auglaize, Wyandot and Delaware, had an unemployment rate of 3.1 percent.
The highest jobless rate in the state in November was in Monroe County at 7.2 percent.
Locally, Adams County had the ninth highest rate at 5.9 percent.
Brown County joined five other counties with the 33rd lowest rate in November at 4.8 percent.
Clermont County finished in the top third of the state, coming in at the 63rd highest jobless rate out of 88 counties.