KC area unemployment rate is relatively healthy at 4.4 percent

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In Gallia County, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent in February, down from January's 8.9 percent. Cleveland had the highest big-city unemployment rate in February at 7.5 percent. That's followed by Latimer County at 8.3 percent and Stephens County at 7.8 percent.

For 12 of the state's 17 major labor market regions, unemployment increased from between 0.1 and 0.9 percent of a percentage point, with the largest jobless increases hitting the Northeast Lower Michigan region.

The Washington region was among 274 of the nation's 388 metro areas to report lower year-over-year jobless rates. Ohio's non agricultural wage and salary employment increased 15,200 over the month, from a revised 5,506,800 in January to 5,522,000 in February. The February rate is the lowest level of unemployment in the state since May 2001, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security reported.

These numbers have not been adjusted for seasonal factors.

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The number of unemployed state residents fell to 40,300.

"To have such a small increase in the unemployment rate while more and more people are entering the labor force is really good news", said Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum. Government employment, at 771,700, decreased 1,000 as losses in state government (-3,100) exceeded gains in local (+1,800) and federal (+300) government. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased 1,700 in February, with gains of 1,400 in the goods-producing sector and 300 in the service-providing sector.

From February 2016 to February 2017, nonagricultural wage and salary employment grew 45,400. Within the service-providing sector, employment increases included 100 in information, 400 in financial activities, 200 in educational and health services, and 500 in leisure and hospitality. The national unemployment rate declined to 4.7 percent.

Information for this article provided by the ODJFS and WorkForce West Virginia.