Closer look at Hancock County unemployment

HANCOCK COUNTY (WTOL) - When county unemployment numbers came out for February, Hancock County was the only one in our area to have an increase since January. All other counties experienced a decrease in their numbers this time.

Unemployment in Hancock County was reported as 10.3% in February, up from 9.9% in January. That's a number that county hasn't seen since the early 80s.

"Right now we're struggling, and we're not used to it," said Findlay Mayor Pete Sehnert. The unemployment rate for Hancock County has more than doubled in a year.

Though Sehnert says Findlay is in good company. "If it was just us, if it was just Hancock County, then it would be a problem. But it's not just us. It's everybody."

Rob Marshal is a carpenter by trade. "I've been turned down at McDonalds," he tells us, "They say I'm overqualified."

He's also a victim of this souring economy and poor employment environment. Marshal has been out of work for more than a year. "I'm just running out of assets. I've got no money coming in, but I've got unemployment at $170 per week."

That $170 per week is all he and his wife live on, so Rob's job is to find a job. He searches the classified ads and goes door-to-door searching for work. He's even on the lists at all the temp agencies. "Last year at this time, I saw 122, 123 jobs in there. Today there was 34."

He adds, "Most of the temp agencies, if you go there more than once per week, they tell you not to come back. They say 'We'll call you.' To me, that's -- you know -- I've shown you I want a job. I just can't find it."

But Rob stays confident he will find a job, whether a 10.3% jobless rate or not. "We're just common people. Give us a job. They talk about jobs coming. But as the jobs are coming, we're all falling behind here, and I don't know what else to do."

Of all Ohio's 88 counties, 65 saw an increase in their jobless rates last month. The good news is that of the 18 counties that saw a decrease, fifteen of them were in northwest Ohio.