March 25, 2022
March 25, 2022
The takeaway: Thanks to robust federal action, Ohio and the nation remain on track to recover jobs more quickly than in the last three recessions. The state has recovered four in five jobs lost to COVID-19.
“Today’s jobs numbers keep us on track to fully recover more quickly than from the last three recessions,” said Policy Matters Ohio researcher, Michael Shields. “Unlike in recent recessions when policymakers chose recession-compounding austerity, this time federal policymakers did their jobs, sending money into communities to create stability and security in a time of deep crisis. Now, it’s up to state and local policymakers to spend the next installment of American Rescue Plan dollars in a way that supports working people, keeps this recovery moving, and includes everybody. Premium pay for people who stayed on the job during the crisis, livable wages for child care workers and assistance so parents won’t have to choose between child care and work would go a long way to making this recovery one that works for all Ohioans.”
The jobs numbers: Seasonally adjusted data released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) show that Ohio employers added 6,700 jobs last month. February marked the fourth straight month of job gains. Ohio still needs 174,400 more jobs to regain the number lost to the COVID recession. Ohio has recovered 80.2% of jobs lost since our pre-COVID February 2020 level.
Over the last year, goods producing industries restored jobs more quickly than service sector industries. Goods producers restored 3.0% (26,700 jobs), with construction recovering the most rapidly (6.6%) and most of the jobs in manufacturing (674,000 total last month). The larger service sector restored 2.2% (80,600 jobs). Government reduced jobs by 0.5% (-4,100) with state government cuts (-6,000) exceeding gains in local and federal jobs. Over the last six months, Ohio has recovered jobs at a rate of 0.16% per month; about a third as fast as the U.S. These figures are from a survey of employers and preliminary numbers are subject to revision, but Ohio remains on a better path than prior recessions, thanks to bold action from federal policymakers.
“Goods producing sectors have recovered faster than the service sector,” Shields said. “This reflects the fact that this recession was driven by the public health crisis. Sectors where people are more exposed at work have had the biggest challenges to recovery and it’s also why state and local ARPA spending must prioritize these workers.”
Unemployment numbers: According to the separate household survey, 6,000 Ohioans entered the workforce last month to accept a job or begin their search. Ten thousand jobseekers found work, pushing Ohio’s unemployment rate down 0.1 points to 4.2%. The nation’s was 3.8% for February.
“Ohio has an aging workforce and has struggled to rebuild its labor force after the 2000 recession and hollowing out of the manufacturing sector by trade and past monetary policies. Our long-term economic stability relies on a vibrant labor force. The extremist agenda moving through the statehouse, including enacting radical restrictions on honest education, restricting overtime protections, and Republican state legislators’ refusal to create fair electoral maps, paint a picture of a state where too many elected leaders care only about hanging on to their power and enriching their corporate backers. Equity and inclusion are not just policy and legislative buzz words. They are critical to our future prosperity.”
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