Magazine article Economic Trends

Fourth District Employment Conditions

Magazine article Economic Trends

Fourth District Employment Conditions

Article excerpt

As of the end of 2011, the rate of unemployment in the Fourth District stands at 7.8 percent. Typically, the Fourth District rate's unemployment rate has been higher than the nation's, but it now rests below the national rate of 8.5 percent. Over the past year, both the Fourth District and the United States as a whole saw the unemployment rate decline a marked 1.5 percentage points. Future improvements in the labor market may be subdued, however, due to changes in the Fourth District's labor force.

The distribution of unemployment rates among Fourth District counties ranges from a low of 5.1 percent (Mercer County, Ohio) to a high of 15.5 percent (Jackson County, Kentucky), with the median county unemployment rate at 8.7 percent. County-level patterns reflect statewide unemployment rates. For example, as of December 2011, the unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in Ohio, 9.1 percent in Kentucky, 7.6 percent in Pennsylvania, and 7.9 percent in West Virginia. Compared to December 2010, all states within the District experienced declines in unemployment levels of nearly 1.0 percent or better.

There are significant differences in unemployment rates across counties in the Fourth District. Of the 169 counties that make up the District, 80 had an unemployment rate below the national rate and 89 counties had a rate at or higher than 8. …

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