Ohio unemployment rate held steady in March

Written on Apr 27, 2017

Ohio’s unemployment rate remained at 5.1% in March, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced April 21, as the state dropped 4,100 jobs and the number of unemployed was unchanged.

According to ODJFS, Ohio's nonagricultural wage and salary employment went from a revised 5,522,800 in February to 5,518,700 in March. The number of unemployed workers was 294,000 in March, unchanged from February. The number of unemployed has increased by 9,000 over the past 12 months, when there were 285,000 unemployed. The March 2016 unemployment rate was 5.0%.

Ohio was above the national unemployment rate of 4.5% in March, which was 0.2% lower than in February, and 0.5% lower than in March 2016. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said Friday that unemployment rates were lower in March in 17 states and stable in Ohio and 32 other states. Eighteen states had jobless rate decreases from March 2016, and 32 states had little or no change. Ohio was one of 43 states that saw nonfarm payroll employment essentially unchanged in March.

Colorado had the lowest unemployment rate in March at 2.6%, followed by Hawaii at 2.7%. New Mexico had the highest rate at 6.7%. Washington added the most jobs over the month with 10,700, while New Jersey lost 17,500, the most in March.

In Ohio, ODJFS said employment in goods-producing industries, at 923,300, increased 1,300 over the month in construction (+1,000), mining and logging (+200), and manufacturing (+100). The private service-providing sector, at 3,826,100, decreased 5,200. Employment losses in trade, transportation, and utilities (-6,000), professional and business services (-3,800), leisure and hospitality (-2,800), and financial activities (-700) surpassed gains in educational and health services (+6,300), information (+900), and other services (+900). Government employment, at 769,300, decreased 200 as losses in local government (-700) exceeded gains in state (+300) and federal (+200) government.

From March 2016 to March 2017, nonagricultural wage and salary employment grew 36,500. Employment in goods-producing industries increased 14,100. Construction added 7,900 jobs. Manufacturing added 6,500 jobs in nondurable goods (+5,400) and durable goods (+1,100). Mining and logging lost 300 jobs. The private service-providing sector added 30,100 jobs. Employment gains in educational and health services (+19,400), financial activities (+5,200), trade, transportation, and utilities (+4,400), leisure and hospitality (+2,500), and information (+1,500) exceeded losses in professional and business services (-2,000) and other services (-900). Government employment decreased 7,700 as losses in state (-5,800) and local (-2,700) government outweighed gains in federal government (+800).

The year over year job growth rate for March 2017 fell slightly to 0.83%, while the national job growth rate for March 2017 slowed to 1.49%. Ohio has now gone 52 consecutive months where its job growth rate was below the national average. Ohio's current job total is 117,500 below its peak employment level in May 2000.

Policy Matters Ohio said Ohio has gained a total of 15,000 jobs since December, which is slightly more than half of what was gained through the first quarter of 2016, which was 28,200.

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