Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for September, with the state gaining 10,500 jobs, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Friday.
The jobless rate was 5 percent in September 2016. August’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.
Sectors gaining jobs included state government, where employment was up 6,900 jobs. (Local government lost 7,200 jobs and federal government gained 300.) Employment in trade, transportation and utilities rose by 6,200 and educational and health services was up by 4,600. Leisure and hospitality gained 2,900 jobs and manufacturing was up by 2,600.
In addition to local government, the sectors losing jobs included the category of other service jobs, which was down by 2,200. The information sector, which includes media, lost 1,000 jobs and professional and business services lost 700 jobs.
“This is excellent news,” said George Zeller of Cleveland, an economic research analyst, of Friday’s jobs report. “For the first time in the last 58 months, Ohio’s job growth is slightly above the national average.”
He said Ohio’s job growth was 1.26 percent between September 2016 and September 2017. The U.S. job growth rate was 1.24 percent.
Bret Crow, director of communications for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, was also pleased with Friday’s jobs report.
“One of the primary factors contributing to Ohio’s improved unemployment rate in September was the fact that the state added 10,500 jobs,” he wrote in an email. “These new jobs came from diversified sectors such as manufacturing, construction and health care.”
Hannah Halbert, a researcher with liberal Policy Matters Ohio, which follows the state’s labor market, agreed job growth in Ohio was solid in September. However, she said one month was not enough to substantially improve a pattern of lackluster job growth.
“(T)he 64,600 jobs gained in the state over the past 12 months is a mediocre gain compared to years in the past,” she wrote in a news release. “That doesn’t match most annual growth rates seen since the end of recession and is far from the rates we saw in the mid-1990s.”
The number of unemployed workers in September was down by 6,000 to 305,000, the state reported. The number of unemployed workers has increased by 21,000 in the past 12 months.
The U.S. unemployment rate for September was 4.2 percent, according to the nation’s jobs report released Oct. 6th. The U.S. lost 33,000 jobs, as the jobless rate decreased by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before. The Labor Department said the decrease “likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.” In September 2016 the U.S. unemployment rate was 4.9 percent.
Zeller said the slower U.S. job growth rate brought it closer to Ohio’s performance.
“The main cause of the breaking of the (losing) streak was the substantial slowing of the U.S. growth rate due to the various national disasters,” he said. “Ohio had no national disasters.”
“It will be very important to see whether this improvement is sustained in next
month’s October data when the southern USA hurricanes no longer slow
down the USA employment growth rate,” Zeller wrote in an email.
By design the U.S. jobs report contains more detailed information than that of Ohio and most states.
Here are some highlights:
Unemployment by gender: The jobless rate for both men and women was 3.9 percent for September.
Unemployment by race: White workers had an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, as did Asian workers. Hispanics had a jobless rate of 5.1 percent and the black unemployment rate was 7 percent.
Labor force – The nation’s labor force participation rate was 63.1 percent in September. The rate measures the percentage of the population that is either employed or jobless and actively seeking work.
Ohio’s labor force participation rate was 62.7 percent for August, the state reported Friday.
“(T)he labor force participation rate remained constant, which means that new people entering the labor market and those previously unemployed found jobs,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive vice president of the conservative Buckeye Institute in a news release.
He described Ohio’s job growth during the last 12 months as “steady,” but said it “has not kept pace with these new workers.”
The U.S. employment-to-population ratio was 60.4 percent in September. The rate measures the proportion of the population that is employed.
Ohio’s employment-to-population rate was 59.4 percent, the state reported Friday.