COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's unemployment rate dropped in November to 7.4 percent, down slightly from October but still well above the rate a year ago.
Ohio's rate also remains below the national rate of 7 percent, which dropped from 7.3 percent in October.
The state's nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased 12,000 over the month. It went from a revised 5.2 million workers in October, when the rate was 7.5 percent, to 5.19 million in November, the Department of Job and Family Services said Friday.
In 2012, Ohio's seasonally adjusted jobless rate November was 6.8 percent.
The state said the total number of workers unemployed in Ohio in November was 427,000, unchanged from October. In the past 12 months, the number of unemployed has increased by 37,000, from 390,000, according to Job and Family Services.
The slight discrepancy in figures — unemployment down, but with lower employment numbers as well — comes from differences in reporting tools, said Job and Family Services spokeswoman Angela Terez.
The unemployment figure comes from a national survey of households by the Census bureau which includes about 2,000 households in Ohio, while the job figures comes from a survey of employers by the U.S. Department of Labor, Terez said. That includes about 18,000 businesses in Ohio.
"If anything, it's just a sign that the recovery is slow," Terez said, adding: "We believe the economy is slowly strengthening, and the job market is improving."
The agency said Ohio lost jobs in goods-producing industries and construction, but gained positions in manufacturing, educational and health services, trade, transportation, utilities and government.
The state rate has varied only slightly throughout this year and had been hovering below the U.S. rate.