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Ohio to release monthly data on jobs, unemployment

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The latest monthly jobs data will show whether Ohio's unemployment rate continues to stay below the national figure.

State officials planned to release the newest numbers on Friday morning, including statewide labor force data and the unemployment rate for February.

Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7 percent in January, up from 6.7 percent in December. The increase was partly attributed to more people looking for work as the economic recovery continues.

January marked the first time Ohio's monthly unemployment rate failed to decline or at least remain steady since July 2011.

The state's leaders have said Ohio's economy and its job market are getting stronger, though the process is slow.

Ohio's unemployment rate has remained about a percentage point below the U.S. rate, which was 7.7 percent in February.