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Ohio's unemployment rate falls to 7 percent

Oct. 20, 2012 @ 12:35 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio's unemployment rate has dropped slightly to 7 percent after three consecutive months of holding steady at the same rate.

The state Department of Job and Family Services said Friday that seasonally adjusted joblessness in Ohio was 7 percent in September, down from 7.2 percent in August.

The state's unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 7.8 percent.

The number of unemployed Ohio workers fell by about 7,000, from 413,000 in August to 406,000 last month. The state's non-farm payrolls decreased by 12,800 compared with August's figures.

Ohio saw job gains of more than 1,500 in professional and businesses services last month, while manufacturing lost about 6,400 jobs.

Friday's update on job numbers was the last that the swing state's voters will see before the Nov. 6 election.

Jobless rates fall in 36 W.Va. counties in Sept.

CHARLESTON -- Unemployment rates fell in 36 of West Virginia's 55 counties in September.

WorkForce West Virginia said Friday that 11 counties reported jobless rate increases, while rates were unchanged in eight counties.

Jefferson and Monongalia counties tied for the lowest rate in the state at 5 percent. Clay County's 13.0 percent rate was the highest.

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from August's rate.

Geologist: Appalachian coal's 'glory days' over

CHARLESTON -- An economic geologist says Central Appalachian coal mining has been falling for more than a decade and is never returning to what he calls "the glory days."

Alan Stagg is president Stagg Resource Consultants in Cross Lanes.

He tells The State Journal the decline occurred even without new environmental regulations for coal-fired power plants or mountaintop removal mines.

West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Virginia have mined coal for more than a century, and Stagg says they'll likely mine for decades to come. But he says challenges facing the industry go far beyond regulation.

Retail group against revised card settlement

WASHINGTON -- A retail trade group says that a revised version of a proposed multibillion-dollar settlement over fees that MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc. charge merchants fails to protect retailers from abuse by credit card companies.

The National Retail Federation issued its remarks after reviewing revised settlement terms filed Friday with U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Under the settlement disclosed in July, stores will be allowed to charge customers more if they pay with a credit card on transactions in the U.S.

But more than half of the 19 retailers and trade groups that are plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit say the deal will not stop swipe fees from continuing to rise, hurting both retailers and shoppers.

In a statement, Visa called the settlement a fair and reasonable compromise.