COLUMBUS — Ohio's jobless rate showed slow and steady improvement in December, state officials reported today.
The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 6.7 percent — down slightly from 6.8 percent in November and 6.9 percent in October, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services said.
It's the lowest since July 2008, when the rate was 6.6 percent. The rate reached a high of 10.6 percent for several months in 2009 and early 2010.
Officials said the state's economy is improving slowly, and it will take time for a full recovery. Still, Ohio's unemployment rate for December was well below the national average of 7.8 percent, which was unchanged from November. Ohio's unemployment rate has improved from 7.9 percent in December 2011.
The number of unemployed in Ohio has decreased 70,000 in the past 12 months.
The state agency reported 388,000 people out of work last month, down from 391,000 the previous month. Meanwhile, the state's non-farm wage and salary employment decreased 9,400 over the last month, according to the latest business establishment survey by the U.S. Department of Labor, in conjunction with the state agency.
Ohio gained about 1,000 jobs in goods-producing industries in December, and manufacturing added 900. Construction lost 100 jobs, and mining and logging remained unchanged from the previous month. Job losses were seen in service-producing industries.
The agency said Ohio has gained 90,700 non-farm jobs between December 2011 and the end of last month. Service-providing industries added 70,100 jobs over that period.