Unemployment down in Cincinnati but job picture still not rosy - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Unemployment down in Cincinnati but job picture still not rosy

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

New unemployment numbers released today by the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics show the jobs picture in Cincinnati has improved a bit from a year ago but still isn't as rosy as most people here were hoping for by now. In the Cincinnati-Middletown metro area, as BLS refers to it, preliminary numbers show unemployment in March was 7.2%. Last year, it was 7.7%.

Numbers for February are firmer and show this part of the Tri-State was suffering from 8.2% unemployment last year. But by February of this year, the unemployment rate declined to 7.5%. 

FOX19's analysis of this new report shows a major reason for the decline in March unemployment is that the number of workers in the region's labor force has shrunk. The labor force shrinks when people move away or local residents give-up actively looking for a job, a sign of a weak job market. Only people actively looking for work are counted as "unemployed."

The Cincinnati-Middletown metro area currently has more than 1,080,100 workers, preliminary figures show, down by 5,000 workers from March 2012. And the .5% decline in unemployment this March represents about 5,400 workers, nearly equal to the number of people who've moved away or stopped looking for jobs. 

The numbers for February are more promising, though. In February of last year, 1,081,500 people were in the workforce in the Cincinnati-Middletown metro area. By February of this year, that had shrunk by 3600. But the .7% unemployment decline during that timeframe represents nearly 7,600 workers, evidence that the majority of those people found new jobs. 

BLS says unemployment fell in 306 of the country's 372 metro areas in March, when compared with March 2012. 

In major metro areas with a million or more people, the highest unemployment rate can be found in the Riverside, California, area where it's 10.5%. On the other hand, lots of people have jobs in Oklahoma City. That metro area's unemployment rate is the lowest in the country at 4.6%. 

The full list of unemployment figures is available on the BLS website.

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