Although the state unemployment numbers continue to rise, Muskingum County seems to be doing okay.
The state jobless numbers pushed Ohio up to 11. 1 percent, the highest levels since 1983. But, Bob Mercer of the Muskingum County Opportunity Center says the last three months have seen consistently lower levels within the county.
“Over those past three months, and we don’t have the June figures,” said Mercer. “But as you look a year ago, we’re about four-percent higher than a year ago. It’s not good, but it could be worse.”
Mercer says the opportunity center has seen more people coming in. He says the center is packed Monday through Thursday, all day.
“Our experience has been that people sometimes will run out their unemployment before they actually start to look,” he said. “They think it’s pretty easy because they have confidence in their job search capabilities. Today our community, maybe with the job losses at Longaberger, they’re starting earlier.”
June’s unemployment rate rose from 10.8- percent in May. In June of last year, the state’s jobless rate was significantly lower at 6.4-percent.
The number of out of work Ohioans has increased by 279,000 in the last 12 months.