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Research & Policy
Policy Matters Ohio

Job growth returned to Ohio in November, unemployment rate unchanged

December 20, 2019

Job growth returned to Ohio in November, unemployment rate unchanged

December 20, 2019

New seasonally adjusted data released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) show Ohio employers added 6,700 jobs in November. This gain is bolstered by a downward revision of October’s estimates, which now show employers cut 800 jobs more than was previously reported.

Ohio jobs have grown at just 0.4% over the last 12 months compared to the national average of 1.4%. Ohio employers are adding jobs half as fast as they did in 2018, one of the worst years for job growth since the end of the 2007 recession.

“Ohio still needs 4,400 jobs to break even with where we were in January,” said Hannah Halbert, project director with Policy Matters Ohio. “Ohio employers have fallen short of national job growth, and in 2019 they are struggling to keep pace with the state’s own post-recession job growth rates.”

Despite the boost from GM workers coming back to work after a strike, durable goods manufacturing employers only added 100 jobs in November. Goods producing work, which includes manufacturing, construction, and mine workers, is down 10,100 jobs from last year. Retail, which may be hampered by a late Thanksgiving, is down 4,400 workers from last year. Accommodation and food service jobs have grown by 13,000.

“Too many jobs in Ohio pay poverty wages,” Halbert said. “A typical fast food worker makes $9.21 an hour. If companies paid these workers a wage equal to that of their grandparents, they would be earning at least $12 an hour. Ohio voters increased the minimum wage in 2006 and indexed it to inflation. It’s clear that the increase was not enough.”

The unemployment rate remained at 4.2 percent in November. The working age population and the civilian labor force both grew by 3,000. Ohio still needs 152,000 people to work or start looking for work to return to our pre-recession labor force.

“Many Ohio employers have the money and power to take care of themselves and they have a state legislature that protects them at working people’s expense,” Halbert said. “Working Ohioans need more support. They need higher wages, a union card, and policymakers willing to invest in them.”

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JobWatchWork & WagesHannah Halbert2019

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