Uncertainty continues to plague Ohio’s job market, economists are saying after the release of the latest data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
According to the numbers, Ohio’s unemployment rate remained at four percent in July, unchanged from June.
The number of workers employed in Ohio in July was 235,000, up 2,000 from 233,000 in June, while the number of unemployed has decreased by 28,000 over the past year. For comparison, the July 2018 unemployment rate was 4.6 percent.
Ohio continues to lag behind the national unemployment rate, which remained at 3.7 percent from June to July.
Andrew Kidd, an economist with The Buckeye Institute, noted that Ohio’s private sector employment is still down 13,900 jobs since January 2019, despite an increase of 2,500 private sector jobs in July.
“However, Ohio’s unemployment rate remained steady at four percent with the labor force continuing to grow, indicating that people are still finding jobs and that those who had stopped looking for work are returning to search for jobs,” he said.
Kidd said that while the manufacturing sector and the leisure and hospitality sector both saw job increases, the construction sector lost 1,900 jobs. He called this “a sign of reduced business investment due to growing uncertainty of when the next recession will hit.”
“With trade tensions still affecting the economy, it will be an uphill battle for Ohio employment to surpass where it started the year, and until policymakers find solutions, Ohio’s families will continue to suffer from higher prices and reduced job creation,” he concluded.
George Zeller, a Cleveland-based economist, put things succinctly when speaking with The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“The problem is that Ohio’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average and the job growth is lower than the national average,” he said. “For 80 consecutive months we’ve been below the national job growth rate. For 30 months, consecutively, Ohio’s unemployment rate has been above the national rate.”
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