(Columbus) - Ohio's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in January, down from 7.1 percent in December, according to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 16,700 over the month, from a revised 5,268,900 in December to 5,285,600 in January. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in January was 395,000, down 16,000 from 411,000 in December. The number of unemployed has decreased by 26,000 in the past 12 months from 421,000.

ODJFS spokesman Ben Johnson says in the past the unemployment rate was dropping because fewer people were looking for work, but that's no longer the case.

"The civilian labor force has started to stabilize and even increase in some months, so the count of people working or looking for work increased by 5,000 in January," said Johnson.

The January unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.3 percent in January 2013.

The U.S. unemployment rate for January was 6.6 percent, down from 6.7 percent in December and from 7.9 percent in January 2013.

Construction, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing were among the industries that saw the biggest job growth. Federal government and information services jobs saw the largest declines.

The state also released revised numbers for previous years. The state added 51,000 jobs in 2013 and 75,800 the year before.

"The monthly numbers we report through the year and are based on two surveys. Once a year we can go and get more detailed and accurate information and adjust those survey results accordingly," Johnson said.

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(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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