Portage County's jobless rate ticked up .1 of a percentage point for July, to 7.1 percent, according to state statistics released last week. The county rate was 7.0 percent in June, and July's increase marked the third straight month the county rate went up since May.
Portage County's rate a year ago was 7.0 percent, down from a high of 11.6 percent in January 2010 when there were 10,700 county residents out of work. The statewide rate was unchanged at 7.2 percent.
Rates ranged from a low of 4.5 percent in Mercer County in the west to a high of 12.3 percent in Meigs County on the Ohio River in the southeast. The U.S. unemployment rate for July was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in June and from 8.2 percent in July 2012.
Portage had 6,600 people out of work from a workforce of 92,800 according to ODJFS.
July rates for counties abutting Portage (with their June rates) are: Cuyahoga 7.5 (8.0); Geauga 5.8 (6.3); Mahoning 8.6 (8.3); Stark 7.3 (7.5); Summit 6.9 (7.1); Trumbull 8.5 (8.1).
-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier