Ohio workforce again takes a dramatic hit, August jobs report shows

Sep 16, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio's labor force suffered a dramatic hit in August, with 24,000 state residents no longer looking for work. Unemployment dropped slightly to 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent, but a policy analyst with Ohio's free-market think tank said that change was a result of the state's shrinking workforce.

Today's jobs report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services mirrors its last report, which found that 24,000 residents left the workforce in July. In addition, this month's report shows Ohio's private sector shed 5,000 jobs in August while government added 3,000. Both trends worry Joe Nichols at The Buckeye Institute.

"Three straight months of bad economic news after a strong start to the year for Ohio's labor market means there's clearly more work that needs to be done to improve the state's job climate," Nichols said. "Reforming Ohio's tax code and business regulations can put Ohio employers in a stronger position to hire, promote, and reward employees." 

The most job losses in Ohio came in administrative, support, and waste services positions, with a total 3,400 jobs lost, a drop of 1.1 percent. The most job gains in August occurred in real estate, rentals, and leasing, adding around 1,000 positions, or 1.5 percent.

"A strong private sector ensures more opportunities for workers and adequate funds for needed government services," Nichols said. "Ohio clearly needs more reform to get employers, small businesses, and workers in a position where they can build up the economy and again make Ohio a national leader."

The Buckeye Institute analyzes Ohio's unemployment rate to identify policy solutions for increasing job opportunities and strengthening the state economy.

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Founded in 1989, The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.