Jobless figures fall in Valley

By Grace Wyler

By Grace Wyler


Unemployment dropped significantly in the Mahoning Valley last month, providing a glimmer of hope that the area’s economic recovery may be under way.

The combined unemployment rate for Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties was 11.3 percent in August, down from 11.9 percent in July. Last month’s rate was a major drop from 13 percent in August 2009.

“It’s been a long road, but we are seeing some good things,” said Bert Cene, director of the Mahoning and Columbiana Training Association, which oversees work-force investment. “I think that we may have at least turned a corner.”

Cene attributed the drop to increased demand for products and services, and an improvement in the area’s economic outlook.

“I think the overall economy is improving,” he said. “I am cautiously optimistic — I think the trend will continue in our favor.”

Unemployment dropped to 11.1 percent in Mahoning County last month, down from 11.6 percent in July and 12.3 percent in August 2009.

In Trumbull County, the unemployment rate was 11.4 percent in August, down from 11.9 percent in July and 13.6 percent in August 2009.

Columbiana County’s unemployment rate was 11.5 percent in August, down from 12.5 percent the month prior. The rate was 13.3 percent in August 2009.

In Youngstown, the unemployment rate was 13 percent last month, down from 13.7 in July and 14 percent in August 2009. Warren’s joblessness rate was 12.5 percent in August, down from 13.1 percent in July and 14.7 percent a year earlier.

Unemployment fell in 80 of the state’s 88 counties last month. Ohio’s August unemployment rate was 10.1 percent, down from 10.3 percent in July. The unemployment rate was 10.7 percent in August 2009.

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