Lackluster job growth in March

- April 18, 2014
   

Ohio added only 600 jobs in March. This suggests that Ohio continues its trend of painfully slow job growth, even as a separate ODJFS survey showed continued improvement in the state’s unemployment rate.

For immediate release
Contact Hannah Halbert, 614.221.4505

March job data shows slight increase, but unemployment rate falls

Ohio added only 600 jobs in March according to data released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. This suggests that Ohio continues its trend of painfully slow job growth, even as separate ODJFS survey showed continued improvement in the state’s unemployment rate.

Monthly numbers are always preliminary and subject to revision, making it unwise to make too much of monthly fluctuations. The longer view shows that the state still struggles with below-average job growth. Over the last 12 months, the seasonally adjusted number of nonfarm jobs has increased by only 1.0 percent, underperforming national growth of 1.7 percent. Without accounting for population growth, the state needs to add another 135,300 jobs just to make up for the jobs lost in the 2007 recession.

“Ohio is a large state with a diverse economy and a skilled workforce,” said Hannah Halbert, workforce researcher with Policy Matters Ohio. “Ohio should not be underperforming the nation. One factor dragging down Ohio job growth has been the loss of nearly 7,000 public-sector jobs in the last 12 months.”

Ohio’s unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points in March, to 6.1 percent, according to the separate ODJFS household survey, which showed that the number of Ohioans counted as unemployed fell by 24,000. While this is welcome news, the survey shows that only half of that drop (12,000) is due to a reported gain in employment. The remainder is due to Ohioans leaving the labor force.

“Though the drop in unemployment is a good sign, too many Ohioans are leaving the labor force, and too few jobs are being created,” said Halbert. “The state has a long way to go to recovery.” 

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