Ohio unemployment rate 4.9%; state only gained 100 jobs
Posted March 04, 2016 in Selected Press
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Ohio's unemployment rate ticked up to 4.9 percent in January with the state only gaining 100 jobs, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Friday.
January's unemployment rate was up from 4.8 percent in December. The U.S. unemployment rate for January was 4.9 percent, down from 5.0 percent in December.
The U.S. unemployment rate for February, which remained unchanged at 4.9 percent, was also released Friday. Ohio's jobs report for February is scheduled to be released March 18.
Ohio's jobs report for January shows some sectors, such as trade, transportation and utilities, saw increases in employment, but they were offset by hefty decreases in sectors such as government.
"Only gaining 100 jobs is disappointing," said George Zeller of Cleveland, an economic research analyst. "Cuts in government employment are the chief factor causing Ohio's too slow job growth."
Hannah Halbert, a researcher at Policy Matters Ohio, agreed job growth in January was disappointing. She said Ohio's 12-month job growth rate was 1.5 percent, contrasted with that of the U.S., which was 1. 9 percent.
"Slow growth means that there are still too few jobs for the number of Ohioans who want and need to work," she wrote in an email. "That hurts wage growth, economic mobility and opportunity. We should invest in infrastructure improvements--water security, bridge repair, and energy efficiency upgrades to help more Ohioans get back to work."
Angela Terez, an ODJFS spokeswoman, said January's job growth figures don't reflect the recent trend. She pointed to official revisions to the state's unemployment numbers, which were released Friday by the Labor Department. Such revisions are routine, and are made as additional data becomes available.
"We originally reported that Ohio added 65,800 total nonfarm jobs and 58,300 private sector in 2015," she wrote in an email. "The revision shows that the state actually added 80,700 nonfarm jobs and 71,300 private sector jobs last year."
Sectors gaining jobs in January included: trade, transportation, and utilities, where employment increased by 4,400; leisure and hospitality, which saw a gain of 3,000 jobs and health services, which was up by 2,900 jobs.
"Most of the gains were in industries where wages are low," Zeller said. "On the other hand, durable goods manufacturing, where wages are high, went down by 1,600."
Sectors seeing decreases in employment included government, which was down by a total of 7,600 jobs. Here is the breakdown for losses in the government employment: local government was down by 5,500 jobs, state government employment decreased by 1,200 jobs and federal government by 900.
The other sector experiencing job losses was professional and business services, where employment decreased by 6,500.
The number of unemployed workers in Ohio in January was 279,000, up by 6,000 from December.
The U.S. gained 242,000 jobs in February.
"Ohio's job growth below the USA national average is currently 38 consecutive months," Zeller said.
The U.S. sectors gaining jobs nationally included health care and social assistance, which added 57,000 jobs; retail trade, which was up by 55,000 and food services and drinking places, which saw a 40,000 increase.
The only sector showing a major job loss was mining, which was down by 19,000. These sectors showed little change in employment in February: manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, professional and business services, and government.
"This jobs report shows that U.S. businesses are continuing to grow and hire despite headwinds in the global economy," said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank, in an email. "It means another Fed rate hike could happen sooner rather than later, especially if we keep posting strong payroll numbers."
Ball State economist Michael Hicks said while job growth was steady, there was still reason for concern.
"Wage growth was negative in February, and there was a relatively large decline in weekly hours worked," he said in a news release. "Together, these signal a more static, rather than optimistic, labor market.
"This jobs report was better than expected, given the global downturn, but it is helpful to remember that employment is a lagging economic indicator," Hicks said.
Original Article: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2016/0...