Jobless Rate Reaches Double Digits In Northwest Ohio.

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The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reveals Van Wert County suffers the highest unemployment rate in the state.

Van Wert County, located off of state route 30 on the border with Indiana, has been hit hard by manufacturing layoffs. A slowdown in production at several area plants, coupled with the crisis in the automobile industry, has led to an unemployment rate last month of 10.9%.

“The problem with the auto industry has hurt us all here. So, major, major factor. Kongsberg, the closing of that plant. They made parts for Chrysler. They moved that to Mexico. That just closed.” Says Van Wert County Commission Chair Gary Adams.

In an effort to attract new businesses, Van Wert County is marketing a new site for industrial development.

“We’re right now working on a big site at the present time–almost 1500 acres–and we’ve got a grant for $5 million from the state of Ohio — one of two in the state. To do the infrastructure work to the site: that means gas, roads, and rail.” Says Adams.

Van Wert is one of eight Ohio counties with double-digit unemployment rates.

Sadie Taylor, WOSU News