Ohio job growth takes a holiday in August
- September 21, 2012
After an early summer of improved job growth, data from two separate surveys released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) today show that both the unemployment rate and job growth held steady in August. Continued declines in the state’s civilian labor force raise the question whether this is a just a pause or a prelude to slower growth.
For the third consecutive month, the state’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.2 percent, according to seasonally adjusted data from ODJFS’s survey of households.
After three months of five-figure job gains, Ohio lost 2,000 jobs in August, according to a separate survey of employers also released today by ODJFS. The July job gain that was initially reported was adjusted upward in the release today by nearly the same amount as the August job loss.
Over the last twelve months, the state job total has grown by 98,300 jobs, or 1.9 percent. At that rate of growth it will take well over two years to generate the additional 232,800 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.
Ohio’s labor force dropped by 19,000 in August, the third month of five-figure declines. In just three months, a net 60,000 have stopped working or actively looking for work. After twenty-two months of labor force declines Ohio added 23,000 workers back to the labor force in the spring. All those gains have now been erased, more than twice over.
“This is a worrying trend and suggests that the recent job gains are not enough to bring discouraged workers back into the workforce,” said Hannah Halbert, policy liaison with Policy Matters Ohio.
“While it is too early to know whether August’s report is just a pause in Ohio’s slow march out of recession or a prelude to a reversal of course, it is clear that the state is a long way from full recovery,” said Halbert.”