National Unemployment Steady, Ohio Unemployment Ticks Up: Experts Weigh in on Ohio’s Economy

 

Nationally the unemployment figures remained steady at 3.7%, but Ohio’s figure edged up a tenth of percent to 4.1. Several economic analysts have weighed in over the last few days to discuss the overall state of Ohio’s economy compared with the nation’s.

Opportunity Ohio found, “Latest @BLS_gov job figures show Ohio has added just 1,000 private sector in 2019 as recovery pushed back a couple of more months.”

 

Matt Mayer, President of Opportunity Ohio, wrote, “With the revised numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that substantially reduced Ohio’s 2018 private sector job total, Ohio still has a way to go before recovering all the private sector jobs the state lost since March 2000 during the economic downturn and recession of the last decade.”

Policy Matters, a left-leaning think tank, announced, “Ohio’s job growth rate for the last 12 months is just 0.4 percent,” in their September 20th analysis.

Hannah Halbert, Policy Matters’ project director, stated, “Monthly job data are always reported as preliminary and subject to revision. Longer-term trends are better indicators of Ohio’s economic health, and those trends are a growing concern.”

Last Friday the Buckeye Institute had their own view of the employment data released by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

In Ohio Shows Resiliency Despite Another Slow Month of Job Growth, economist Andrew J. Kidd, Ph.D., wrote “The mixed signals coming from Ohio’s jobs reports continue. After another downward revision of last month’s jobs numbers, Ohio’s private-sector employment grew by only 1,200 jobs in August.”

On a more positive note Kidd added, “Despite these flat numbers, we continue to see some promising signs in the household survey. While the unemployment rate grew from 4.0 percent to 4.1 percent, the labor force participation rate grew to 62.9 percent from 62.8 percent, and the number of people employed grew by 6,000. When this is viewed together, it shows that more people are returning to the job market with confidence, they are looking for work, and they are finding jobs.”

Because of the mixed review, slow growth and economic uncertainty, Dr. Kidd has a recommendation for policy makers: “It is critical that [they] adopt and implement pro-growth policies that reduce barriers to employment and increase opportunities for training and education.”

Mayer told The Ohio Star, “Ohio has the second worst job growth in 2019 despite the great Trump economy because Ohio Republicans for too long failed to enact the right policies to spur our economy.”

He added, “If policymakers want to get Ohio moving, they need to enact right-to-work to get Ohio competitive with neighbor states, freeze or cut state spending, and consolidate Ohio’s burdensome layers of local governments. Anything else is just nibbling on the margins.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to bethlearreports@gmail.com.

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