Warren Posts Highest February Unemployment of Ohio Cities

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Month-over-month area unemployment rates were down in February. That’s a case that almost certainly won’t be true for March, when the numbers will reflect the impact of the widespread business shutdowns to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

On March 15, the Ohio Department of Health ordered bars and restaurant in the state closed to all but carryout orders, leading many venues to lay off employees or suspend operations. A week later, the department issued a stay-at-home order closing all but essential businesses, sending more workers home.   

Even with a rate drop of a full percentage point, the city of Warren still reported the highest February unemployment rate among Ohio cites, according to monthly statistics released Tuesday morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The city’s February rate was 7.2%, down a full point from 8.2% in January and unchanged from the February 2019 rate. 

Youngstown’s rate was third highest among Ohio cities, 6.8% in February, down from 7.6% in January and form 7.2% in February 2019.

Trumbull County’s February unemployment rate was 6.8%, up from 6.4% a year earlier but down from 7.5% in Janaury. Mahoning County posted a 6.3% rate last month, up from 6.0% a year ago and down from 6.9% the month before. 

Columbiana County reported a 5.8% unemployment rate in February, down from 6.3% the month before but above February 2019’s rate of 5.4%. 

The February unemployment rate in the Youngstown-Warren metrpolitan statistical area, which covers Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio and Mercer County, Pa., was 6.4%, up from February 2019’s 5.9% but down from January’s 6.9%. For the Ohio-only portion of the MSA, the rate was 6.5% in February, compared with 7.2% in January and 6.2% in February 2019.  

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