While 2018 was, overall, steady for job growth, the year ended on a sour note for the Buckeye State.
The Ohio jobs report for December 2018 has been released and it appears to have been a disappointing month. While unemployment remained at an unchanged 4.6 percent from November to December, the number of unemployed increased by over 2,000. This is in contrast to an overall gain of more than 16,000 jobs in 2018.
Some business sectors were hit harder than others. The private sector lost 500 jobs and, surprisingly, 4,300 jobs were lust in the retail market during the Christmas season. While the aggregate numbers still represent an improvement, they’re frustrating for many as the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.9 percent during that same time period.
The disappointing numbers also pointed to a greater issue. Andrew J. Kidd, Ph.D., an economist with The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center noted:
Of continuing concern is Ohio’s labor force. The unemployment rate only fell slightly this year from 4.9 percent to 4.6 percent, while the labor force actually shrunk. This comes after United Van Lines released their annual report, which found more Ohioans had moved out of the state than moved into the state. If families are unable to find work and leave the state in search of better opportunities, it draws into question whether Ohio can sustain its job growth numbers.
While Ohio’s population is increasing, it consistently fails to keep at pace with the nation. Compounded with the increasing number of citizens moving out if the state, this has led to a serious deficiency in skilled labor. This has significantly hindered the state’s economic potential.
The numbers were provided by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, an administrative government department that focuses on “supervising the state’s public assistance, workforce development, unemployment compensation, child and adult protective services, adoption, child care, and child support programs.”
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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.