OHIO VALLEY — Unemployment rates in both Meigs and Gallia counties declined in February after sharp increases in January.
Meigs County saw a nearly one point decrease, but is still tied for the second-highest rate among Ohio’s 88 counties at 12.3 percent. In January, the unemployment rate in Meigs County was at 13.2 percent after being at 10.9 percent to end 2013.
Gallia County’s unemployment rate decreased from 10 percent in January to 9.4 percent in February. Gallia County had been at 8.1 percent in December 2013.
Last February, Meigs had an unemployment rate of 12.8 percent, while Gallia County had a rate of 8.6 percent.
A total of 87 of Ohio’s 88 counties saw a decline in unemployment in February. Washington’s County’s unemployment remained steady at 7.3 percent, making it the lone county not to see a decline.
Monroe County currently holds the state’s highest unemployment at 14.2 percent, down from 15 percent in January. Monroe County is followed by Meigs and Pike counties at 12.3 percent, Morgan County at 12 percent and Huron County at 11.6 percent.
Other counties with an unemployment rate at or above 10 percent were Adams and Ottawa counties, each at 11.3 percent; Scioto County at 10.9 percent; Vinton County at 10.3 percent; and Jefferson County at 10 percent.
Meigs and Morgan counties had been tied for second in unemployment in January behind Monroe County.
Gallia County was 12th in unemployment in January and February.
When it comes to unemployment rates, in terms of rankings, it’s a good thing when a county’s number rises. The higher the ranking, the lower the unemployment.
Mercer County remains ranked 88th with an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent in January. Delaware County has the second-lowest rate at 4.6 percent, followed by Auglaize County.
The national and state unemployment rate was at 7 percent in February. The national rate remained steady from January, with the state rate falling from 7.5 percent.
Ohio had an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in February 2013, while the national rate was 8.1 percent.
A total of 39 Ohio counties had unemployment rates lower than the state and national rate.
In southeast Ohio, other unemployment numbers include: Athens County, 7.9 percent; Hocking County, 7.8 percent; Jackson County, 9.2 percent; Lawrence County, 7.5 percent; Morgan County, 12 percent; Perry County, 9.3 percent; Ross County, 8.1 percent; Vinton County, 10.3 percent; and Washington County, 7.3 percent.
On the southern side of the Ohio River, Mason County’s unemployment rate was 10.7 percent — a decrease from 10.9 percent in January.
Wetzel County had West Virginia’s highest unemployment rate at 13.2 percent. Monongalia County was the lowest at 4.6 percent.