The Buckeye Institute: Persistent Challenges Continue to Impact Ohio’s Economic Recovery

Mar 25, 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. 

“In February, Ohio’s job market continued its recovery with the unemployment rate falling to 4.2 percent down from 4.3 percent—slightly above the national average of 3.8 percent—while the state’s labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 61.5 percent for the third month in a row—lower than the national average of 62.3 percent—increasing concerns of stagnation in labor force participation.

“Although the February 2022 unemployment rate is nearly the same as it was in February 2020, too many Ohioans remain out of the economy, with 80,000 fewer workers participating in the job market. And while the private sector added 6,900 jobs in February 2022, there are nearly 130,000 fewer jobs than Ohio’s economy had in February 2020

“Two years after the start of the pandemic, Ohio’s job market is recovering but is far from its pre-pandemic peak. To address Ohio’s persistent challenges, policymakers need to encourage more Ohioans to reenter the job market, encourage existing workers to gain new skills, and encourage new workers to make Ohio their home. There are solutions to achieve these objectives that The Buckeye Institute outlined in a new policy report, Policy Solutions for More Innovation: Modernizing Ohio’s Policies to Seize New Economic Opportunities. By adopting strategic education reforms that can train and upskill workers, rewriting antiquated regulatory laws like the state’s occupational licensing regime, and attracting foreign companies and high-skilled workers to Ohio, the Buckeye State will see greater economic prosperity.”

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