Ohio unemployment falls to 9.9 pct. in October

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's unemployment rate has fallen below 10 percent for the first time in more than a year and a half.

The Department of Job and Family Services said Friday the state's jobless rate ticked down to 9.9 percent in October, from an even 10 percent in September.

Department Director Douglas Lumpkin says in a statement that unemployment declined for the seventh straight month with help from hiring in services, manufacturing and construction.

The department says the last time Ohio's unemployment rate was under 10 percent was in March 2009. The state's nonfarm payroll employment rose by 8,400 last month.

The number of unemployed workers dropped to 588,000, from 591,000 in September. Officials say the number has gone down by 50,000 in the past 12 months.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)