COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's unemployment rate dropped slightly in January to 6.9 percent, according to numbers released Friday by the state.
The seasonally adjusted rate was down from 7.1 percent in December and 7.2 percent in November, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The state's rate has been declining but still running higher than the national rate, which hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent in January but edged up to 6.7 percent in February, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
The January unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.3 percent in January 2013. The average for all of last year in Ohio was 7.4 percent.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in January was 395,000, down 16,000 from 411,000 in December. The number of unemployed has decreased by 26,000 in the past 12 months.
Ohio's nonfarm employment increased by 16,700, from a revised 5,268,900 in December to 5,285,600 in January.
Increases were seen in January in goods-producing industries, including 8,000 in construction, 2,400 in manufacturing and 500 in mining and logging. Gains were also seen in professional and business services (5,900), leisure and hospitality (3,400), and financial activities (1,100). Losses occurred in sectors including trade, transportation, and utilities; information; and educational and health services.
The Labor Department reported Friday that hiring nationally improved in February from the previous two months despite a blast of wintry weather. Employers added 175,000 jobs last month, up from just 129,000 in January, which was revised up from 113,000. December's gain was also revised higher.