The Buckeye Institute: Ohio Job Market Continues Slow Recovery

Sep 18, 2020

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 continued its slow recovery from the pandemic recession with the unemployment rate falling slightly to 8.9 percent. Although this is a small drop, the number of Ohioans in the labor force (62.2 percent labor participation rate) increased by one percent—a notable jump from the sharp decline in July’s report. Although we still have much work to do to fully recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, the increase of Ohioans in the labor market—which is higher than the national average of 61.7 percent—and the fact that unemployment held steady shows the economy continues to slowly recover and people continue to find work.

“Ohio’s private-sector employers reported hiring 37,700 new workers in August, which is still down 389,500 jobs when compared to August of 2019. While the leisure and hospitality industry added 4,500 jobs in August it is still down 142,700 jobs compared to 2019. Other notable areas of growth were the health care industry—which added 9,100 jobs—the administration, support and waste services—which added 8,900 jobs—and manufacturing—which added 4,500 jobs.

“Although there are glimmers of hope in the August numbers, Ohio’s recovery is slow and at the current pace of hiring the state will not fully recover until the summer of 2021. That is too long for Ohioans who are in desperate need of a job to wait. While Governor Mike DeWine, Senate President Larry Obhof, and Speaker Bob Cupp deserve praise for protecting responsible businesses, schools, and frontline workers from COVID-19 lawsuits, policymakers must prioritize economic policies that will spur hiring and the creation of new jobs—such as suspending Ohio’s commercial activities tax and adopting regulatory reforms that make it easier for businesses to hire and promote workers. And at a time when so many businesses are struggling, lawmakers at the state and federal level should also make it easier for businesses to get no interest loans so they have enough money to meet their expenses and keep their doors open.”

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