The expected increase in unemployment began to show in March estimates released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
In Fulton County, the unemployment rate increased to 5.8 percent in March, from 5.2 percent in February. In March 2019, the jobless rate was 4.8 percent in the county.
April numbers should show a more complete look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unemployment.
The state has received over 855,000 new jobless claims since closings were first announced. That’s more than double the official jobless count for March.
The state had more initial unemployment applications in the last four weeks than it did in the previous two years combined, according to Job and Family Services data.
Among the state’s 88 counties, preliminary March 2020 unemployment rates ranged from a low of 3.5 percent in Mercer County to a high of 12.2 percent in Monroe County. From February, unemployment rates increased in 85 counties, decreased in one county, and remained unchanged in two counties.
The comparable unemployment rate for Ohio was 5.6 percent in March.
Six counties had unemployment rates at or below 4 percent in March. The counties with the lowest rates, other than Mercer were: Delaware, 3.7 percent; Holmes and Union, 3.8 percent; Hancock, 3.9 percent; and Auglaize, 4 percent.
Eight counties had unemployment rates above 9 percent in March. The counties with the highest rates, other than Monroe were: Morgan, 10.2 percent; Noble, 10 percent; Meigs, 9.6 percent; Adams and Vinton, 9.4 percent; and Jackson and Ottawa, 9.1 percent.
Ohio’s adjusted unemployment rate was 5.5% in March 2020, up from 4.1% in February. Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased 39,700 over the month, from a revised 5,599,100 in February to 5,559,400 in March 2020.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in March was 314,000, up 73,000 from 241,000 in February. The number of unemployed has increased by 75,000 in the past 12 months from 239,000. The March unemployment rate for Ohio increased from 4.1% in March 2019.
The U.S. unemployment rate for March was 4.4%, up from 3.5% in February, and up from 3.8% in March 2019.