by Todd Defeo
Ohio’s unemployment rate for July dropped to 8.9 percent, down from the revised June rate of 11 percent, according to new data from the state.
In a clear sign of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the state’s economy, the unemployment rate in July is up from 4.2 percent in July 2019, state numbers show.
“Ohio’s July jobs report indicates that the rapid recovery from the depths of the pandemic recession has slowed compared to May and June, when Ohio recovered half of its job losses and the state reopened businesses getting people back to work,” Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute and vice president of policy, said in a statement.
“Although the unemployment rate fell from 11 percent to 8.9 percent, the sharp decline in Ohio’s labor force participation rate,” which was down 1.6 percentage points, “shows that many unemployed Ohioans have left the labor force and have stopped looking for work—a concerning sign in the state’s ongoing economic recovery,” Hederman added.
Nationally, the unemployment rate for July was 10.2 percent, down from 11.1 percent in June, but an increase from 3.7 percent in July 2019.
Non-agricultural wage and salary employment in the Buckeye State increased 62,700 over the month, state numbers revealed. Concurrently, the number of unemployed workers was down 133,000.
“July’s jobs report shows Ohio’s businesses are struggling to recover from the pandemic and that workers are struggling to find jobs,” Hederman said. “To reverse this, policymakers need to quickly pass liability protection so businesses can confidently re-open and people can safely return to work.
“Ohio also needs to partner with private companies to expand broadband service to underserved areas and needs to permanently expand telehealth,” Hederman added. “These two efforts will ensure Ohio can continue to respond to the pandemic with quality medical care, and that workers and students have the resources they need to work and go to school online—all of which are vital to Ohio’s economic recovery.”
An unrelated WalletHub analysis found Ohio’s unemployment bounce back rate ranked No. 20 nationwide, ahead of Michigan (No. 23), Indiana (No. 24) and Pennsylvania (No. 44). However, it ranked behind Kentucky (No. 3).
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Todd Defeo is a contributor to The Center Square.