The Buckeye Institute: Ohio’s Job Market Shows Positive Signs, But Concerns Linger

Mar 08, 2019

Columbus, Ohio – 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.

“Ohio’s labor market started the year off on the right track with the addition of 20,300 new private-sector jobs in January. While the unemployment rate did increase—the first time since June 2018—to 4.7 percent, it was coupled with a slight increase in the labor force participation rate—up from 62.3 percent in December to 62.4 percent in January. This means that more Ohioans started looking for work or started working.

“Ohio’s retail trade sector added 4,600 jobs in January along with large gains in the educational services sector (4,000 jobs), leisure and hospitality sector (4,200 jobs), and health care and social assistance sector (3,200 jobs). However, we saw a loss of nearly 900 jobs in the construction sector, which could be attributed to a slow down during the winter months, and a loss of 1,600 jobs in the administrative and support services sector.

“The most surprising news in today’s announcement—and perhaps the most concerning—was the downward revision in total private-sector jobs created in 2018, which was lowered to only 47,200 jobs created. While it is common to see revisions from month to month, this dramatic shift (from 104,800 to 47,200) is surprising and needs further explanation from government analysts. 

“Despite the positive signs from this month’s report, Ohio continues to lag behind the nation with some areas of the state being left behind. This is further confirmation that as state policymakers begin to consider Ohio’s biennial budget they must continue to pursue pro-growth policies to ensure prosperity for all Ohioans.”

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