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Ohio Jobless Rate Falls To Lowest Level In 17 Years

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Ohio’s unemployment rate is at its lowest in nearly 17 years.

A jobs report released Friday says Ohio’s jobless rate fell to 4.5 percent in February. That’s the state’s lowest official unemployment rate since August 2001.

The drop in the jobless rate came as state officials reported about 13,000 new jobs last month. The biggest job gains came in education and health services, and goods-producing industries. On the losing side, local, state and federal governments shed a combined 6,200 workers last month.

Over the past year, state labor officials say Ohio has added 46,500 jobs.

Another survey of homes shows the number of people officially classified as unemployed in Ohio fell by about 9,000 in February to 271,000.

Despite those gains, Ohio’s jobless rate remains well above the national average of 4.1 percent.

Gov. John Kasich has made jobs a main focus of his administration, but conflicting jobs reports have added skepticism to his record over the last eight years.