The Buckeye Institute: Ohio’s Job Market Continues to Slowly Strengthen

Oct 22, 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

“With Ohio’s unemployment rate holding steady at 5.4 percent and its labor force participation rate increasing to 61.1 percent (up from 60.8 percent), we see that employers have enough open positions that can be and are being filled by new workers. This is good news for Ohio’s recovering economy. However, the news is tempered by the fact that Ohio remains below the national average, which has an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent and a labor force participation rate of 61.6 percent. 

“The private sector created 4,100 new jobs in September but remains down nearly 225,000 private-sector jobs from its pre-pandemic level. While manufacturing lost 2,800 jobs, which indicates it is still suffering supply chain shortages, the construction industry added 3,500 new jobs indicating that its supply chain problems have eased. The service sector added 3,600 new jobs—led by retail trade which added 5,700 jobs—while arts, entertainment, and recreation lost 3,400 jobs contributing to the loss of 1,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector—likely due to concern over COVID cases which peaked in September. 

“Overall, the September jobs report is good news for Ohio. It shows that the state’s job market continues to strengthen despite an increase in COVID cases. However, it also shows that the pandemic continues to impact Ohio’s economy through supply chain challenges, people continuing to work from home, and fewer people enjoying meals out or other entertainment activities. Policymakers must ensure that the state can compete in this new economic environment by adopting policies that will make it easier for people to work and earn a living in Ohio. Critical among these is reforming Ohio’s tax system and its regulatory scheme, and adopting policies to once again make Ohio a leader in emerging technologies.”

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