Hancock County’s unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent in December from 5.7 percent in November, the state reported.
That improvement was a purely statistical creature, however, because fewer people were employed last month than in November, the state Job and Family Services Department reported.
The unemployment rate shrank because fewer people were looking for jobs last month than a month earlier, said Ben Johnson, public information officer for the state Job and Family Services Department.
But a broader picture gives real good news: Hancock County added 1,000 jobs in the year between December 2012 and December 2013.
For both months, the unemployment rates were the same, 5.2 percent. More people were seeking work last month than they were a year earlier. There were fewer discouraged workers, those who had given up for lack of confidence they could find a job.
Unemployment rates decreased last month among most neighboring counties from a month earlier. December rates, with November jobless rates in parentheses, were as follows: Allen County, 7 percent (7.7 percent); Hardin, 6.6 (7.3); Henry, 7.2 (6.9); Putnam, 5.7 (5.9); Seneca, 6.6 (7); Wood, 6.3 (6.9); and Wyandot, 5.9 (6.4).
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