JobWatch: Nation gains jobs in April, but Ohio loses
Posted May 19, 2017 in Press Releases
Last month the nation added 211,000 jobs, a positive report that suggested Ohio might also see an increase in April. Today’s numbers reported by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services show that is not the case. The state lost 5,700 jobs last month.
Jobs in goods production work declined more than in other sectors. Manufacturing lost 5,800 jobs and construction, which had been reporting relatively steady monthly growth, fell by 7,400. Administrative, support and waste services, and accommodation and food service, were the two sectors adding the most jobs, 5,100 and 4,800, respectively.
“The monthly numbers are preliminary and subject to revision, so it is best not to make too much of the month-to-month changes, but today’s report is still concerning,” said Hannah Halbert, researcher with Policy Matters Ohio. “April’s declines compound our losses in March. It’s also a departure from the national trend.”
Since December, Ohio added just 9,100 jobs, growing by 0.2 percent. Over the same time, the nation’s jobs grew by 0.5 percent. By this point last year — the state’s worst year for growth since the end of the last recession — we had added more than double the amount in the last four months, 22,900. Our 12-month growth rate is 0.7 percent, less than half the national rate of 1.6 percent.
“Ohioans have been asking where are the good jobs? Policymakers have not responded with new strategies,” said Halbert. “Tax cuts for the wealthy have not borne the promised fruit. We have slow growth and less revenue to invest in our future. Ohioans need a raise and real investment in our communities.”
The separate household survey, which generates the data for the unemployment rate, uses a different methodology from the survey that produces the job growth numbers. It is not unusual for the two surveys to produce somewhat contradictory monthly numbers. April is one of those months. Ohio’s unemployment rate fell to 5.0 percent. This positive change reflects a much-needed increase in the number of Ohioans working or actively seeking work (+21,000); an increase in the number counted as employed by the household survey (+26,000); and a decrease in unemployment (-5,000). The national unemployment rate is 4.4 percent.
“Once again, the increase in the state’s labor force is a bright spot in today’s report,” said Halbert. “The jobs reports for March and April raise concerns. Monthly numbers are preliminary, but the state would be wise to reevaluate how current policies are impacting working Ohioans.”