The Columbus region's unemployment rate hit a pandemic low in October as the local labor market continues to heal from the coronavirus.
The rate for October was 3.5%, matching Cincinnati for the lowest rate among the state's metro areas, according to state employment data released Tuesday.
Three counties — Union, Delaware and Madison — were among 11 counties in Ohio that had unemployment rates at or below 3% in October.
Delaware and Union counties had rates of 2.8% last month and the rate for Madison was 2.9%.
The last time the rate for Greater Columbus was this low was December 2019 when it hit 3.2%.
The local unemployment data is not adjusted for seasonal differences so the rate tends to drop in the fall and then rise over winter.
The region added 12,300 jobs last month, led by a gain of 7,200 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors that includes retailers and warehouses. The sector that includes private education and health services added 2,500 jobs last month.
Even though the unemployment rate is low again, Greater Columbus has not fully recovered the jobs that were lost during the pandemic. The labor force remains below where it was then as well.
The unemployment rate for Franklin County in October was 3.7% and the rate for city of Columbus was 3.8% as it continues to move closer to the unemployment rate for the region.
The rate for the city of Columbus is typically in line with the rate for the region, but it has been higher than the region since the pandemic started.
The rate for Licking County in October was 3.3% followed by 3.4% for Fairfield County, 3.5% in Morrow and Pickaway counties, and 3.6% for Hocking County.
Perry County had the highest unemployment rate in the region at 4.3%.
Rates fell in 85 of Ohio's 88 counties and all metro areas but Springfield last month.
Holmes County in northeast Ohio had the lowest unemployment rate in Ohio at 2.4%.
Monroe County in eastern Ohio had the highest rate last month, 5.8%.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus unemployment rate in October hits pandemic low