The Buckeye Institute: After Slowest Job Growth in a Decade, Ohio Continues to Lag the Nation

Mar 06, 2020

Columbus, OH – Andrew J. Kidd, Ph.D., an economist with The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center, commented on newly released employment data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

“After annual revisions, we see that 2019 was the slowest year for private-sector job growth in Ohio since 2009—adding only 23,900 new jobs. This follows the trend seen in 2018 when Ohio’s private sector added only 29,000 new jobs. And Ohio continued to lag behind the nation in job creation, which grew three times faster than Ohio in 2019 (1.5 percent compared to 0.5 percent). Despite the slow growth in 2019, Ohio’s job market added 2,300 new private-sector jobs in January and its unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent. 

“Continuing the trend seen in 2019, Ohio’s January job growth was not evenly distributed and the state continued to see a shift away from manufacturing jobs, which lost 1,700 jobs in January. The administrative and support services sector also lost jobs, falling by 5,200. Those losses were off-set by substantial gains in the education and health services sectors, which added 5,200 new jobs, and in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 4,300 new jobs. 

“These shifts highlight how Ohio’s job market has changed. In 2000, one out of every four jobs was in goods-producing industries such as manufacturing and construction. Today, just 20 years later, that number has fallen to one out of every five jobs. As these shifts continue, policymakers must recognize this trend and support and expand job training programs which can help workers transition to better-paying, in-demand jobs.

“Ohio’s consistent, albeit slow, job growth tells us that policymakers need to focus on adopting deeper economic reforms and pro-growth policies that have been outlined by The Buckeye Institute—controlling government spending, eliminating the commercial activities tax, adopting universal occupational licensing reciprocity—to encourage private-sector job growth and attract workers to Ohio.”

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