Buckeye’s Rea Hederman: Ohio Labor Market Bounces Back from Summer Doldrums

Oct 20, 2017

Columbus, OH – Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive vice president at The Buckeye Institute, commented on newly released unemployment data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

“In September, the Ohio labor market bounced back from the summer doldrums, with the unemployment rate falling a tenth to 5.3 percent from 5.4, and the private sector created 10,500 new job opportunities. After a somber August labor report, the solid numbers from September are a welcome improvement with all indicators in positive territory, particularly as revised August numbers increased total employment by 1,000. In addition, the labor force participation rate remained constant, which means that new people entering the labor market and those previously unemployed found jobs.

“However, the slow, steady Ohio growth is not keeping pace with the national numbers, as the gap between Ohio’s unemployment and the national average (4.2 percent) has increased in the past year.

“Private sector job growth was led by strong gains in educational services (3,800), retail trade (3,300), and manufacturing (2,600). The sharpest decline was in financial activities (-2,400). The government sector neither added nor lost jobs as gains in state government (6,900) and federal government (300) were offset by losses in the local government sector (-7,200).

“Since September of 2016, Ohio’s unemployment rate has increased slightly as more Ohioans entered the labor market, and, while the economy has experienced steady growth with 64,700 private sector jobs created in the last twelve months, job creation has not kept pace with these new workers. To reverse this trend, Ohio policymakers must continue on their course of wisely resisting tax increases to make up for a budget shortfall, and they must consider tax reform that eliminates special interest deductions and loopholes to lower tax rates.”