Ohio showing improvement but we’ve a long way to go to recovery
Policy Matters Ohio - March 23, 2012
In February 2012, Ohio’s unemployment stood at 7.6%, falling 0.1 points from January’s numbers. As in January, most of this month’s improvement comes from employment gains rather than a dwindling labor force. This is good news for the state, as virtually all of the decline in Ohio’s unemployment rate over the past year was due to a reduction in the labor force rather than an increase in jobs.
A separate survey of employers showed a good gain in jobs in February on a preliminary basis. However, Ohio must create 272,800 jobs in order to return to the pre-2007 recession employment, and that figure would be even higher if population growth were taken into account. From February 2011 to February 2012, an estimated 73,500 jobs were added, a growth rate of 1.4 percent. If this rate continues, it will take nearly four years just to return to pre-2007 recession levels of employment.
“In the mid-nineties, adding 100,000 jobs annually became commonplace,” said Hannah Halbert, policy liaison with Policy Matters Ohio. “This month’s jobs report is good news, but we still need more, sustained job growth to speed Ohio’s recovery.”