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DOUG WHITEMAN

Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s unemployment rate saw its largest one-month decline in nearly 30 years during November amid improvement in the state’s job market and overall economy, and as thousands of the state’s jobless stopped searching for work, officials said Friday. Gov. John Kasich called the report “encouraging.”

Joblessness dropped to 8.5 percent last month, from 9 percent in October, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said. The half-percentage-point dip was the largest since summer 1983 and pushed the state’s unemployment rate down to its lowest level since December 2008, said Ben Johnson, a department spokesman.

“The economy is getting better, the job market is improving, and slowly but surely Ohioans are getting back to work,” Johnson said.

The unemployment rate went down in November as the state added jobs and as the labor market shrank because some 22,000 out-of-work Ohioans quit looking for jobs, he said.

Ohio payrolls outside of farms grew by 6,000 in November, led by gains in services jobs. Meanwhile, at goods-producing industries, hiring in manufacturing was offset by losses in construction, the department said. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio has fallen by 69,000 in the past 12 months, going down to 496,000 in November, from 526,000 in October.

The state’s jobless rate has declined by more than two full percentage points since the height of the recession, and in November was below the national rate of 8.6 percent.

“It is so encouraging to see Ohioans getting back to work,” Kasich, a Republican, said in a statement. “We’ve struggled for far too long but things are beginning to get back on track.”

The report also was heralded by House Speaker John Boehner, of Ohio.

“We have a long way to go in Ohio, but the governor’s policies are taking our state in the right direction,” Boehner said.

Ohio Democrats said credit should go to the Democrat in the White House.

“Unemployment in Ohio has now gone down since President Obama took office, thanks in large part to his efforts like rescuing the auto industry,” said Seth Bringman, an Ohio Democratic Party spokesman.

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