The Buckeye Institute: September Jobs Report Raises Concerns of a Stalling Recovery

Oct 16, 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

“September’s jobs report shows that Ohio’s recovery has slowed dramatically. Although the unemployment rate fell from 8.9 percent in August to 8.4 percent in September, the cause of this drop was 121,000 Ohioans leaving the labor force instead of finding jobs. The stalled recovery is also reflected in Ohio’s declining labor force participation rate, which plunged from 62.2 to 60.9 percent, and now is below the national rate of 61.4 percent.  

“While this month’s report raises concerns about Ohio’s recovery, one month’s numbers can be volatile and subject to large changes and revisions—as we saw in the July report when the labor force participation rate fell dramatically only to recover the following month. What Ohioans need to watch for is trends over a number of months. 

“Although the household survey part of the jobs report raises concerns, there was some better news in the payroll survey portion of the report, which asks businesses how many people they employ. The payroll survey shows that Ohio added 38,400 private sector jobs in September, with the service industry accounting for 34,900 new jobs and manufacturing accounting for 3,100 new jobs. More than a quarter of the service sector jobs were in the food service industry (9,500), indicating that the hardest hit industry is continuing its slow recovery. However, the restaurant industry is still down more than 100,000 jobs compared to September of 2019, and the state has still lost 352,500 jobs over the last year.

“Despite these new jobs, the September report is further indication that the recovery is starting to stall. In the last month, weekly unemployment claims have increased and job creation has slowed. To reverse course, policymakers at both the state and national level should act by offering interest free loans to businesses, targeted aid to state and local governments, and above all avoid raising taxes.”

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