COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio's unemployment rate continued to move up in September and October.
The state Department of Job and Family Services reported Friday that the rate was 7.4 percent in September and 7.5 percent last month. October's rate was the highest since March 2012.
The rate is up from 7.3 percent in August when the last numbers were reported.
The state rate has varied only slightly throughout this year and had been hovering below the U.S. rate. For October, though, the Ohio rate was higher than the U.S. rate of 7.3 percent, which was up from 7.2 percent in September.
Officials said furloughed federal employees were considered unemployed during the shutdown and thus contributed to the bump in national numbers. The shutdown, however, had little effect on the Ohio numbers.
Ohio's nonfarm wage and salary employment in October was a little more than 5.2 million. It increased by 2,600 from August to October.
The number of unemployed workers in Ohio in October was 427,000, up 2,000 from September. The state said the number of unemployed has increased by 31,000 in the past 12 months. The October unemployment rate for Ohio was up from 6.9 percent in October 2012.
The biggest employment gains were in construction and manufacturing. The biggest losses were in professional and business services, and educational and health services. Government employment lost 6,300 jobs.
Job and Family Services spokesman Ben Johnson noted that the state has continued to add jobs throughout the year.
"The job market is growing, but it is happening very slowly," he said. "
The state's post-recession jobless rate had bottomed out at 6.7 percent in December 2012, but has inched up or stayed flat through most of the year.
Ohio's monthly labor report for September had been delayed because of the shutdown, so both sets of numbers were released Friday. The state compiles the report using data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, and the shutdown affected both agencies.