Huron Co., Ohio Jobless Rate a Shocking 18.3 Percent
From yesterday's Norwalk Reflector:
Huron County’s unemployment rate jumped to a shocking 18.3 percent in January, keeping it atop the state’s 88 counties in that dubious category.18.3%? That's approaching Depression-era numbers.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (JFS) released the county-by-county labor statistics this morning.
With a 13.5 percent unemployment rate in December, Huron County topped Ohio’s jobless rate list for what was believed to be the first time. The rate announced today is nearly 5 percentage points higher.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Huron County Auditor Roland Tkach said this morning when he heard the news. “You know, when I think of those numbers, I think about people. If you don’t have a job, you are not buying a house, not buying a car, not buying furniture. We are just in survival mode. We need to get the governor here and let him know we need some help.
“I cut back the sales tax figure 4 percent last year and 6 percent this year. I never dreamed Star Ohio would go below a half percent. That’s a state pool of more than $7 billion run by the state’s treasurer’s office,” Tkach said.
“There’s been years when 40 percent of our interest income came from Star. The difference between 0.39 and 5 percent like it was two years ago is a big deal. A lot of lost revenue that nobody has any control over.”
A year ago, Huron County’s jobless rate was 10.6 percent. Since then, the county has seen the demise of Norwalk Furniture and a substantial reduction of jobs at companies such as RR Donnelley & Sons, Mayflower Vehicle Systems Inc. and Janesville Acoustics Plant as well as Tenneco just over the border in Erie County. The January figure would not include the job cuts just announced at American Coating Specialist in Norwalk.