The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services released numbers on Friday that showed truly how devastating the coronavirus has been on Ohio’s economy.
The data shows Ohio’s unemployment rate jumped 11 percentage points between March and April.
In reaction to this news, Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute, said these numbers were anticipated.
“In the first jobs report after Ohio shutdown due to the coronavirus, the state’s unemployment rate skyrocketed — as expected — from 5.8 percent in March to 16.8 percent in April, with the number of employed workers dropping by 823,700, the sharpest decline ever recorded,” Hederman Jr. said. “ And while Ohio’s economy is reopening, May’s jobs report is likely to be worse as weekly unemployment claims continue to increase.”
“Every single sector of Ohio’s economy lost jobs in April, with the private sector losing 781,700 jobs while the government lost 42,000,” he added. “Most of Ohio’s job losses came in the service sector with the leisure and hospitality industry losing more than 263,000 jobs.”
Hederman Jr. also said the job report does not include the thousands of Ohioans who left the workforce voluntarily because of the coronavirus.
“The picture of the economic harm caused by the virus has become clearer,” he said. “While some of these layoffs are temporary, policymakers need to act swiftly to help workers and businesses.”
To aid in the recovery, the Buckeye Institute executive said that Ohio needs to “protect public health, jump start Ohio’s dormant economy, balance Ohio’s budget, and prepare Ohio for tomorrow.”
Suggestions the Buckeye Institute makes to help with these changes are implementing permanent telehealth access, allowing deferred payments on the commercial activities tax and protecting business and workers from coronavirus lawsuits, according to the think tank’s press release.
– – –
Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.