OHIO VALLEY — Unemployment rates were down in the tri-county area through numbers still remain high, particularly in Meigs County and Mason County, W.Va.
Both Meigs and Mason County, W.Va. had the second highest unemployment rates in their respective states, though both saw unemployment numbers fall for September, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the West Virginia Division of Commerce.
In September, Meigs County had an unemployment rate of 13.2 percent, down from August’s rate of 13.7 percent. Across the Ohio River in Mason County, September’s unemployment rate was 11.3 percent, down from August’s 12.4 percent. In Ohio, Pike County once again had the highest unemployment rate at 15.1 percent while in West Virginia Wetzel County took that prize with 11.9 percent unemployment.
Gallia County’s unemployment rate also fell from August’s 9.9 percent to September’s 9.8 percent. Out of Ohio’s 88 counties, Gallia County ranked 21 in terms of the state’s unemployment percentages.
In Ohio, Mercer County had the lowest unemployment at 5.6 percent with six counties having unemployment rates below 7 percent - Geauga, 5.7 percent, Medina, 6.1 percent, Holmes, 6.2 percent and Delaware and Lake at 6.3 percent. Four counties had unemployment rates above 12 percent during September in addition to Pike and Meigs County and are: Clinton and Scioto at 12.4 percent.
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in September, unchanged from August. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in September was 534,000, down from 536,000 in August. The number of unemployed has decreased by 43,000 in the past 12 months from 577,000. The September unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 9.8 percent in September 2010.
In West Virginia, the state’s unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point from August to 7.9 percent. Other counties with September unemployment rates considered “worse than average” (other than Mason and Wetzel counties) are: Jackson County, 10 percent; Wirt County, 10 percent; Roane County, 10.8 percent; Calhoun County, 9.6 percent; Clay County, 10.5 percent; Braxton County, 9.7 percent; Webster County, 11.7 percent; Pocahontas County, 10.2 percent; McDowell County, 11 percent; Randolph County, 10.3 percent; Tucker County, 10.2 percent; Grant County, 11.2 percent; Tyler County, 10.3 percent; Hancock County, 10.5 percent. Only Monongalia County’s 5.7 percent unemployment was “better than average” when compared to the state average.
West Virgina’s 7.9 percent unemployment rate is still lower than the national rate which was unchanged for September at 9.1 percent.