The unemployment rate in Brown County fell in July to a 16 year low.
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the jobless rate in Brown County in July was 5.2 percent, down from 5.4 percent in June.
The last time the local unemployment rate was that low was in July of 2000, when it stood at 5.1 percent.
Debora Plymail, the Director of the Ohio Means Jobs Program in Adams and Brown counties, said that it seems people are having to travel less to find work.
“We have seen many more job openings being advertised within Adams and Brown counties than we have seen in the past few years. That means that employers are feeling more comfortable about the idea of expanding,” Plymail said.
Brown County, along with Adams, Brown, Pike and Scioto counties, are in Plymail’s territory.
“We are better off in this area now than we have been historically, but we have much more room for improvement,” Plymail said.
Scioto, Pike and Adams counties all rank in the top ten highest unemployment rates in the state. Scioto is 5th at 7.3 percent, Pike is 6th at 7.2 percent and Adams is 8th at 7.0 percent.
Plymail said there are steps that job seekers can take to improve their prospects.
“It’s important that they register on ohiomeansjobs.com, because that is the state’s job matching system. When they register, they can set up their search to get e-mails when a job comes open that fits their skills,” Plymail said.
“Also if they can build their skills, either building on what they already know or be trained in a new skill set, they can make themselves more marketable to an employer.”
In other counties in southwest Ohio, the unemployment rate fell by .1 percent in July for Clermont, Highland and Adams counties and stayed the same in Clinton County.
The current jobless rate in Clermont County is 4.2 percent, Adams County is at 7.0 percent and Highland County is at 5.8 percent. Clinton County is holding steady at 5.7 percent.
Monroe County has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.9 percent and Mercer County the lowest at 3.1 percent.
Brown County, at 5.2 percent, has the 34th lowest unemployment rate in the state.
The July jobless rate for Ohio as a whole was 4.8 percent, according to ODJFS.