November 17, 2023
November 17, 2023
Business survey showed more jobs, but household survey reported fewer Ohioans had one
The takeaway: Ohio employers reported adding 7,700 jobs in October, but the separate household survey diverged for a second month to show 17,000 Ohioans lost or left jobs. The household survey can pick up trends faster than the employer survey that measures job growth. It could signal a slowdown, or it could instead be picking up auto workers out on strike when the survey was gathered and now back on the job; next month’s data will be important to understanding the trend. Inflation fell 0.5 points to 3.2% in October: a positive development both because it eases pressure on Ohioans’ budgets and should give the Federal Reserve pause about further interest rate hikes that could slow the economy and reduce jobs. Ohio’s unemployment rate rose 0.2 points to 3.6%. United Auto Workers are poised to ratify contracts that won big victories for their membership and are already benefiting workers beyond their ranks.
The numbers: Seasonally adjusted data released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) show that Ohio added 7,700 jobs last month, from an upwardly revised 5,648,200 jobs in September to an estimated 5,655,900 jobs in October. Monthly data are preliminary and subject to revision. If these numbers hold, they will continue a job growth trend that restored the jobs lost to the COVID recession in May and went on in August to at last recover those lost 23 years ago to the early 2000’s recession.
“These new jobs continue Ohio’s fastest jobs recovery in recent history,” said Policy Matters Ohio economist, Michael Shields. “The COVID recession was the deepest downturn since the Great Depression, and federal lawmakers dispatched unprecedented resources scaled to the size of the crisis. This rapid and continued recovery marks a triumph of wise public policy.”
The details: All three major sectors added jobs last month. Goods producers led with an overall gain of 5,300 jobs. This includes 6,000 new construction jobs that more than offset the loss of 600 manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing factors in thousands of Ohio auto workers on strike at the time of the survey. That means the relatively small net loss signals strength in the manufacturing sector overall. Service providers added a modest 500 jobs in October after larger growth the prior month. Government added 1,900 jobs, making progress toward recovering a shortfall in the only sector still unrecovered from the COVID recession.
The household survey: The separate household survey showed that 17,000 Ohioans lost or left jobs, as the number working fell from 5,619,000 in September to 5,602,000 in October. Among those, 10,000 left the workforce and 8,000 are now unemployed (these groups don’t sum to 17,000 due to rounding). Ohio’s unemployment rate rose 0.2 points to 3.6%.
This is the second month in a row that Ohio’s household survey has diverged from the employer survey and shown losses; this month the nation showed the same pattern. When the surveys disagree, the employer survey is generally considered more reliable because it’s taken from a larger sample size. The household survey is important to watch too because it can be quicker to pick up trends.
More jobs news today: Union victory. United Auto Workers are poised to ratify their contracts with the Big Three auto makers. These contracts make major strides to restore quality jobs in the highly profitable auto industry, where each auto worker job supports about seven other jobs in the economy. Policy Matters Ohio has been following the contract negotiations: Check out our latest press statement, recent blog post, and summer interview with Ohio and Indiana Region 2B Director, Dave Green.
“Without the UAW strike for context, I would be more concerned that the household survey could be picking up trouble ahead,” said Shields. “As it stands, UAW members are poised today to ratify strong contracts with the Big Three automakers that restore many of the concessions forced by the Great Recession; create more job security for temp and lower tier workers; and help auto workers take home a much bigger share of the wealth they’ve created at these profitable companies. I think this is a time to celebrate.”
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