Economist Cautions Against ‘Spending Increases’ After Ohio Jobs Report Shows ‘Conflicting Trends’

Ohio’s monthly jobs report released this week showed that while the state saw a loss of 7,900 private sector jobs, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent.

According to a press release from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.7 percent in January to 4.6 percent in February. The number of unemployed workers was down 4,000 from January, but the number of unemployed has steadily increased by 8,000 over the past 12 months. For comparison, the February 2018 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, while the current national unemployment rate is 3.8 percent.

The construction industry saw the largest number of job losses at 3,800 fewer jobs in February, while manufacturing lost 1,100 jobs. The trade, transportation, and utilities industry lost 1,900, followed by 1,500 job losses in educational and health services, 500 job losses in information, and 200 jobs losses in financial activities.

Overall, however, the labor force participation rate rose from 62.4 percent to 62.6 percent.

Buckeye Institute economist Andrew J. Kidd said lawmakers would be wise to pay attention to these “conflicting trends.”

“As Ohio’s policymakers begin their deliberations over the state’s budget, they would be wise to watch the conflicting trends in Ohio’s job numbers and avoid spending increases that could lead to deep and painful cuts if economic conditions take a negative turn,” he said Friday. “Tying state spending to inflation and population growth, and returning budget surpluses to taxpayers will keep Ohio on a sustainable path to prosperity.”

Although Ohio “continues to lag behind the nations’ unemployment rate,” Kidd said the “fact that more people are entering the workforce in Ohio and finding jobs is good news.”

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted released a video Friday claiming that Ohio “currently has more than 200 in-demand occupations.”

“That means they pay well, and have promising futures, based on labor market data, job posting trends and a business survey. Ohio needs nurses, managers, accountants, auditors, sales people, computer systems analysts and more,” the video states.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].











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