OHIO VALLEY — The latest unemployment rates for the Tri-County show unemployment on the rise in Mason County and on the decline in both Meigs and Gallia counties.
In Mason County, unemployment rates went from 12 percent in January to 12.9 percent in February. This means Mason County once again fell in the top five on the countdown of counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state - sharing a spot with Brooke County which also had an unemployment rate of 12.9 percent. The remaining counties with the highest unemployment rate were Wirt and Roane counties with 13 percent, Calhoun County with 13.2 percent and Hancock County with 13.9 percent - the highest in the state.
Unemployment rates declined in these nine W.Va. counties - Calhoun, Gilmer, Jefferson, Monroe, Pleasants, Preston, Putnam, Taylor and Tucker. However, unemployment rates rose in 44 counties and stayed the same in Pendelton and Upshur counties. Monongalia County once again had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.2 percent. Overall, West Virginia’s unemployment rates declined two-tenths of a percentage point in February to 7.2 percent - falling from 7.8 percent in January.
After two consecutive months of rising unemployment in both Meigs and Gallia counties, those numbers started to decline. In Meigs County, unemployment rates went from 14.6 percent in January to 13.8 percent in February. Last month Meigs was ranked third in the state for the highest unemployment and though it is technically listed in fourth place this month, it’s preceded by a tie for second place between Ottawa and Morgan counties which both report 14.3 percent unemployment. Pike County once again had the highest unemployment in the state at 15.7 percent.
Though not as large as a decline as Meigs’ numbers, Gallia County’s unemployment rate went from 10.7 percent in January to 10.3 percent in February. Last month, Gallia County was ranked at number 22 in the state for the highest unemployment and this month dropped to number 24 out of 88 counties. Mercer County had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.5 percent. Other unemployment rates around the state of Ohio include Franklin County at 7.1 percent, Jackson County at 10.6 percent, Vinton County at 11.9 percent, Athens County at 8.7 percent.
Overall, Ohio’s unemployment rate declined, going from 7.7 percent in January to 7.6 percent in February. Unemployment rates for both West Virginia and Ohio were still lower than the national unemployment rate which was 8.3 percent for February, unchanged from January.