The Buckeye Institute: August Jobs Report Shows Ohio Holding Steady as More People Enter Job Market

Sep 17, 2021

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

“In August, Ohio saw workers return to the job market with the labor force participation rate climbing to 60.8 percent—a positive sign for Ohio’s economy. This, coupled with the unemployment rate holding steady at 5.4 percent, shows that Ohioans looking for work were able to find jobs. Despite the improvement, Ohio remains below the national average of 5.2 percent unemployment and 61.7 percent labor force participation rate. 

“Although the private-sector lost 2,200 jobs in August, this needs to be looked at in the context of the revisions to the July jobs report, which added 5,000 more jobs than initially known for a total of 26,300 new jobs in July. Leisure and hospitality reported 1,500 fewer jobs in August, an unfortunate setback in the industry hardest hit by the pandemic. Manufacturing added 900 jobs as gains of 1,300 jobs in the non-durable sector offset 400 fewer jobs in the durable sector.  Professional services increased by 6,300 jobs while education and health services declined by 4,800. 

“In short, Ohio remains where it was in July—with an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent and nearly 250,000 private-sector jobs below its pre-pandemic level—albeit with tens of thousands of Ohioans back in the labor force. 

“Ohio’s economy continues to face daunting challenges—not only those brought on by COVID, but those that predate the pandemic—slow job growth, continually falling below the national average in job growth, overregulation, and a complicated and burdensome tax system that makes Ohio less welcoming. If Ohio is to reverse these negative trends, policymakers must implement systemic reforms to Ohio’s tax system and its regulatory scheme, and adopt innovative, pro-growth policy solutions that will make Ohio a more attractive place to live and work.”

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