Spring Upswing: Positive job news for May

Policy Matters Ohio - June 15, 2012

For immediate release
Contact: Hannah Halbert, 614.221.4505

Data from two separate surveys released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) today suggest that Ohio’s recovery has regained some steam. The state’s unemployment rate continued to fall in May, landing at 7.3 percent according to seasonally adjusted data released from ODJFS’s survey of households for May 2012. 

A separate survey of employers also released today by ODJFS showed that Ohio added 19,600 jobs in May. While month-to-month data is highly subject to revision, and it is ill advised to make too much of month-to-month comparisons, today’s report suggests that the state may be regaining some momentum after a weak beginning to the spring.

Even with today’s positive report, recovery remains slow. Since the official end of the great recession in June 2009, the state has had modest job growth of just 2.1 percent, with the addition of 108,100 jobs. Since May 2011, the state job total has grown 75,700, or 1.5 percent. At this rate of growth, it will still take more than three years to generate the additional 261,500 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.

Manufacturing has been a bright spot in Ohio’s recovery not only because of job gains but also because the sector has historically produced jobs with family sustaining wages and benefits. In April, the manufacturing sector posted its first job loss since September 2011. May’s report shows a return to positive growth in this important sector.

“May’s employment numbers are encouraging after the job losses reported in March and April,” said Hannah Halbert, policy liaison with Policy Matters Ohio. “We will need to see many more months like this to erase the jobs deficit from the last two recessions in Ohio.”


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