Meet the Author

Timothy Dunne |

Vice President

Timothy Dunne

Timothy Dunne is a former vice president and economist of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

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Meet the Author

Kyle Fee |

Economic Analyst

Kyle Fee

Kyle Fee is an economic analyst in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. His research interests include economic development, regional economics and economic geography.

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04.08.08

Economic Trends

Fourth District Employment Conditions

By Tim Dunne and Kyle Fee

The district’s unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent to 5.6 percent for the month of January. Since this same time last year, the Fourth District’s unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point, while the national rate rose 0.3 percentage point.

The district’s unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent to 5.6 percent for the month of January. The decrease in the unemployment rate can be attributed to decreases in the number of people unemployed (-1.6 percent) and the labor force (-0.2 percent) as well as an increase in the number of people employed (0.1 percent). The district’s unemployment rate has been consistently higher than the nation’s since early 2004, and January, with the rate 0.7 percent higher in the district, was no exception. Since this same time last year, the Fourth District’s unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point, while the national rate rose 0.3 percentage point.

Unemployment Rate

County-level unemployment rates vary throughout the district. Of the 169 counties in the Fourth District, 28 had an unemployment rate below the national average in January, and 141 had a higher rate. Rural Appalachian counties continue to experience higher levels of unemployment.

County Unemployment Rates, 1

The distribution of unemployment rates across Fourth District counties ranges from 4.0 percent to 10.5 percent, with the median county unemployment rate at 6.0 percent. Pennsylvania counties populate the middle to lower half of the distribution while, Ohio and Kentucky counties cut across the entire range. Four of West Virginia’s six Fourth District counties fall in the upper half of the distribution.

County Unemployment Rates, 2