December unemployment rate climbs

Unemployment numbers in Brown County and surrounding counties all went up in December.
In Brown County, the jobless rate rose to 5.4 percent in December, up from 4.9 percent in January.
Adams County saw the biggest jump, with the unemployment rate rising to 7.3 percent in December from 6.4 percent in November.
Highland County saw a jump of .7 percent to 6.3 percent, Clinton County saw a rise of .3 percent to 5.3 percent and Clermont County’s jobless rate rose to 4.1 percent in December from 3.9 percent in November.
“We are considering this a seasonal spike.  Construction workers and others whose jobs depend on the weather are commonly laid off during this time of year,” said Ohio Means Jobs Adams and Brown County Director Debora Plymail.
“Many of those who come to use for services are telling us that they expect to be rehired in March or April.  We haven’t seen anything locally that makes us think that there has been a long term job loss.”
Plymail said that even though the winter has been warmer than usual so far, temperatures can still affect the unemployment numbers.
“For example, there is a small factory in Adams County that manufactures wood pellets for wood stoves.  Their inventory is high because it’s been a mild winter so far, so they have temporarily laid off their production staff,” Plymail said.
Regional and state unemployment numbers are up as well.  In the Cincinnati region, the December rate was 4.1 percent, up from 4.0 percent in November.  Statewide, the unemployment rate in December was 4.7 percent, up from 4.4 the previous month.
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the unemployment rate rose in December in 81 of Ohio’s 88 counties.  It fell in four others and stayed the same in three more.
The highest unemployment numbers in the state were in Monroe County at 9.6 percent, followed by Noble County (8.6), Morgan County (7.9), Ottawa County (7.5) and Pike County (7.4).
Adams County had the eighth highest unemployment rate in the state at 7.3 percent and Brown County  was in 33rd place at 5.4 percent.
The lowest unemployment rate in the state was in Mercer County at 3.1 percent.