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Ohio Jobless Rate Increased in August to Match National Average

Friday, September 20, 2013 at 6:12 PM

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Ohio's unemployment rate has increased slightly, rising to meet the national average for the first time in two-and-a-half years. Ideastream's Bill Rice has more on the numbers released earlier today.

State officials say the seasonally adjusted jobless rate in August was 7.3 percent, up from 7.2 percent in July. 

The state rate has varied only slightly throughout this year and had been hovering below the U.S. rate.

The national rate dropped to 7.3 percent in August, the lowest since 2008, because more people stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.

Ben Johnson with ODJFS says he doesn’t believe the state’s economic recovery has totally stalled. 

“It’s important to know that the economy is still slowly improving.  the state over twelve months has added more than 32,000 jobs.  But it’s happening very slowly, and it’s not surprising that considering the pace of the recovery that the unemployment rate is essentially unchanged.”

Analyst Hannah Halbert of the left leaning Policy Matters Ohio says while there has been some growth, it’s been, in her word, anemic, and it’s slowing further.  She says the those 32,00 added jobs represent only a 0.6 percent growth rate. 

“If we look back to August of 2011 to 2012, so sort of look back last year to the last 12 month period, we had a growth rate of 1.2 percent for that time - which isn’t great, but it’s more than double what we’re dealing with now.”

Ohio logged 419,000 unemployed workers in August, about 3,000 more than in July. The biggest losses were in the leisure and hospitality sector and in educational and health services.

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Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Education, Government/Politics, Health

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