Ohio Unemployment Falls For 6th Month
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The final snapshot of Ohio’s job market before Election Day was issued Friday and showed the state’s unemployment rate slipped to 10 percent in September, continuing a steady retreat from March’s 26-year high of 11 percent.
However, officials said the state’s employment picture was essentially unchanged because payrolls in Ohio, outside of farms, also shrank last month.
Joblessness was down from 10.1 percent in August, falling with help from increased hiring in education and health care, department director Douglas Lumpkin said in a statement. The heaviest job losses were in local government.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio dropped to 591,000 in September, from 601,000 the month before, and the number has decreased by 47,000 in the past 12 months, officials said.
Meanwhile, the state’s nonfarm payroll employment also declined, by 17,300. Johnson speculated that one reason for the decline could be that people dropped out of the labor force because they returned to school after the summer.
Ohio was among nearly half the states that reported drops in unemployment rates last month, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday. but job creation was weak in most areas of the country, with a survey of employers finding payrolls decreased in 34 states.
Jobs have been a key issue in the Ohio governor’s race pitting Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland against Republican challenger John Kasich. The GOP was quick to pounce Friday on the declining employment figure, calling it further evidence that Strickland failed to turn around the state’s economy.
“Add that to the 15,400 jobs lost in August, and you’ll find that Ohio lost more than 32,000 jobs in a mere 60 days. That’s hardly a recovery,” concluded Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine in a statement.
The Strickland campaign has said throughout the race that the national recession is to blame for Ohio’s job woes and that the state’s economy is stabilizing.
“As governor, Ted has fought to create jobs and help Ohio recover stronger than ever from the economic recession created on Wall Street,” Strickland campaign press secretary Allison Kolodziej said Friday in a brief statement highlighting the six straight months of falling unemployment rates.
As states across the nation weathered the worst economic downturn since the great Depression, Ohio’s unemployment grew sharply in the four years since Strickland first ran for governor. The state’s jobless rate was 5.5 percent in September 2006, when 328,000 were unemployed, according to Department of Job and Family Services data.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: http://jfs.ohio.gov/
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