October 20, 2023
October 20, 2023
Separate survey showing fewer Ohioans employed could flag coming slowdown
The takeaway: According to seasonally adjusted data released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Ohio reached 5,648,100 jobs last month, besting the record set in August when the state fully recovered jobs lost to the early 2000’s recession. Monthly numbers are preliminary and subject to revision. The August estimate of 5,639,700 jobs was unchanged in the revision, though the jobs make-up was revised. Employers added 8,400 jobs in September.
“This month’s growth adds further progress to Ohio’s fastest jobs recovery in recent history,” said Policy Matters Ohio economist, Michael Shields. “It’s a triumph of public policy. The federal government directed historic levels of aid to those who needed it most in the COVID recession, in stark contrast to earlier recessions when policymakers refused to act or spent too little in aid, slowing and weakening past jobs recovery.”
The details: Service providers added 7,300 jobs last month, while goods producers added 3,700. Government cut 2,600 jobs and remains the only sector that has failed to restore jobs lost to the COVID recession, down 19,800 (-2.5%). The August revision found the total number of jobs unchanged for that month, but that the state had 3,800 more service sector jobs than previously estimated, offsetting 200 fewer goods producing and 3,600 fewer government jobs.
Manufacturers added 2,100 jobs in September in data that were gathered the same week United Auto Workers went out on strike in Ohio and other states; those strikes have since expanded and may begin showing up in the jobs data as the strike continues.
“Because auto worker jobs each support about seven additional jobs, we could see a short-term dip in job numbers. This is one reason UAW members have been highly successful in winning job quality improvements that benefit other workers too,” said Shields.
The household survey: The separate household survey showed a different picture, with 6,000 fewer Ohioans working in September than in August (5,619,000 down from 5,625,000). Because 2,000 people left the workforce — where they won’t be counted among the unemployed — Ohio’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.4%. When the surveys disagree, the employer survey is generally considered more reliable because it’s taken from a bigger sample size, but the household survey can be quicker to pick up signals, so it could foreshadow a possible slowdown.
“Ohio workers have experienced strong job growth over the past year, and it’s vital that policymakers keep that going as long as possible, because the strong job market is helping working people to win wage gains after decades of flat pay,” said Shields.
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