Ohio jobs data sends mixed messages for March
Policy Matters Ohio - April 20, 2012
Data from two separate surveys released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) today reveal a mixed message on the state economy. Ohio’s unemployment rate fell slightly in March to land at 7.5 percent according to data released from ODJFS’s survey of households for March 2012.
A separate survey of employers also released today by ODJFS suggests that the big job gains seen in January and February may be ending, as the state is estimated to have lost 9,500 jobs. Month-to-month data is highly subject to revision, and it is ill-advised to make too much of month-to-month comparisons, particularly when the surveys express mixed and contradictory messages. Revisions to March’s data are likely.
“While the March data presents mixed messages, it seems clear that even with the recent gains Ohio is a long way from recovery,” said Hannah Halbert, policy liaison with Policy Matters Ohio.
Since the official end of the great recession (June, 2009), the state has had modest job growth of just 1.7 percent, adding only 86,200 jobs. That rate has slowed over the last twelve months. Since March 2011, the state has only grown by 1.2 percent. At that rate, it will take more than four years to generate the additional 283,400 jobs needed to return Ohio to pre-2007 recession levels of employment. That figure would be even higher if population growth were taken into account.
“We need increased investment to restore our communities and grow good jobs,” said Halbert. “Recovery continues to be too slow; we need sustained job growth to get Ohio working again.”