Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ohio Unemployment Rate Falls to 7% in September

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s unemployment rate was 7.0% in September, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 7.2% in August, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Friday. The rate drop was also an improvement from September 2011’s 8.6%.
Ohio’s unemployment rate was also down from the nationwide 7.8% rate, which declined from 8.1% in August and was down from 9.0% in September 2011.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in September was 406,000, down from 413,000 in August, the state agency reported. Over the past year the number of unemployed has decreased by 91,000 from 497,000.
Ohio’s nonfarm employment decreased 12,800 over the month, from 5,190,000 in August to 5,177,000 in September, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in cooperation with ODJFS.
The loss of 12,800 jobs in the state “shows that the Obama economy is not performing where it needs to be,” said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a leading surrogate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
“The slight drop in unemployment -- entirely caused by 20,000 Ohioans leaving the workforce -- shows that many jobless Ohioans have simply given up hope,” he continued. “It’s time for a new approach to get our economy up and running again and restore the promise of a better tomorrow for all of those unemployed who currently feel forgotten amid a hurting economy. Washington needs new leadership that understands that throwing money at our problems is not the answer.”
Policy Matters Ohio said the separate surveys issued by ODJFS present a “mixed message” on job growth. The 7.0% unemployment rate the household survey showed was the lowest in four years, and data also showed an increase in the state’s labor force, something not seen in three months, while the establishment survey offered a conflicting report with its loss of more than 12,000 jobs, the largest monthly drop since July 2009.
“While it is frustrating to job-watchers looking for trends in job growth, conflicting survey data are not unusual,” said Hannah Halbert, policy liaison with Policy Matters Ohio. “The monthly numbers are always preliminary and subject to revision, so it is ill advised to make too much of month to month changes.” The surveys may tell conflicting stories because they survey different groups. The establishment survey carries more statistical weight because the survey is based on a much larger sample size than the household survey.
On the other hand, the household survey includes trends in self-employment and agricultural work, both of which are not measured in the establishment survey. The establishment survey also has difficulty measuring employment at new firms, and according to the Secretary of State’s office, new firm filings increased in September and are outpacing last year’s filing rate.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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