LISBON - Columbiana County's unemployment rate dropped by 0.7 percent in August to 7.6 percent, the lowest level in four years, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The decline from 8.3 percent in July occurred after the unemployment rate had increased in each of the two previous months, which was the first time that had occurred in more than two and half years. This was the largest decline since April, when the jobless rate dropped by 0.8 percent.
While the county's rate dropped, Ohio's jobless rate remained unchanged in August at 7.2 percent. The national unemployment rate declined in August, from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent.
The state estimated the number of unemployed county residents to be 3,900 in August, a decrease of 400 from July. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits was 408 in August compared to 424 the month before, while those continuing to receive benefits dropped from 3,193 to 2,403.
Approximately 162 county residents received benefits for the first time in August, down from 178 in July, while the number of people who exhausted their benefits declined to 42 last month. The average weekly benefit was $295.
Among adjoining Ohio counties, the county's unemployment rate was higher than Mahoning (7.3 percent), Stark (6.8 percent) and Carroll (6.9 percent) but lower than Jefferson (10.6 percent).
The county's unemployment rate was the 27th highest among Ohio's 88 counties. Mercer County, with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, continued to have the lowest jobless rate in the state, while Pike County still had the highest at 12.1 percent