The Buckeye Institute: Ohio’s Jobs Market Ends 2021 with a Bang

Jan 21, 2022

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

“Ohio experienced another strong jobs report in December—with the unemployment rate falling to 4.5 percent and the labor market participation rate increasing to 61.5 percent—to end 2021 on a strong note. While Ohio remains slightly above the national unemployment rate, the Buckeye state is closing the gap in labor force participation with the national average remaining at 61.9 percent for two straight months. Although Ohio saw its unemployment rate drop from 5.3 percent in January of 2021 to 4.5 percent in December, part of this decline was due to the fact that fewer Ohioans were in the labor market looking for work, something that policymakers must find ways to address in 2022. 

“Ohio added 11,600 private-sector jobs in December with construction adding 5,700 new jobs, which led the way in the goods production sector. Trade jobs increased by 2,600 as retail trade had another strong month during the holiday shopping season, and professional and business services added 6,600 new jobs to end a year of solid job growth. Manufacturing shed 600 jobs and the leisure and hospitality industry lost 1,300 jobs with most occurring in the arts, entertainment, and recreation division. The private sector added 92,000 jobs over the course of 2021 but remains roughly 170,000 jobs below the pre-pandemic level. The construction sector had a strong year in 2021 adding 16,000 jobs while hiring in the hotel and restaurant sector increased by 31,000, which is still far short of pre-pandemic levels. 

“As Ohio enters its third year of dealing with the pandemic, it is clear policymakers need to do more to spur economic growth and adopt policies that will attract employers to the state. Today’s announcement that Intel has picked Ohio to build its largest chip factory in the world positions the state to expand into the high-tech arena, and lawmakers should encourage high-tech development by fixing regulations and laws that could hinder further growth. 

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