The Labor Department says an increase in hiring helped lower unemployment rates in Ohio and 36 other states last month.
Unemployment rates are now below 7 percent in Ohio and 22 other states. Rates rose in seven states and were unchanged in six. Locally, the jobless rate for the Columbus metro area fell 3-tenths of a percent to 5.4 percent in October, the lowest in more than four years. The national unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in October, but has declined a full point in the past year. Employers added 171-thousand
jobs and hiring was stronger in August and September than first estimated.