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Ohio unemployment figures tell different stories


(The Center Square) – Ohio’s October jobs report showed two different pictures, with more Ohioans out of work but fewer in the state looking for work.

The separate numbers also show a growing trend, according to the Columbus-based policy group The Buckeye Institute.

“Ohio’s October jobs report shows concerning signs with more Ohioans unemployed and fewer Ohioans looking for work,” said S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of The Buckeye Institute. “While Ohio continues to lag the nation, the state’s jobs report reflects a national trend of growing unemployment and falling labor force participation.”

Ohio’s unemployment rate rose to 4.2% in October, up from 4% in September, according to figures released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Also, the state’s labor participation rate dripped to 61.5%, down from 61.7%.

The U.S. unemployment rate in September stood at 3.5%, down from 3.7% in August.

Hederman said the monthly payroll actually shows a growing job market, and the state added 10,400 private-sector jobs in October. That follows a revised number of 7,000 jobs added in September, with nearly half coming in the hotel and restaurant service sector.

“It is not unusual for the two surveys that make up the jobs report to paint different pictures of Ohio’s job market in any given month, and revisions are sometimes quite significant,” Hederman said. “However, the two surveys tell the same story when we look at the trend over the past few months – Ohio’s job market has slowed in the second half of 2022, with fewer Ohioans looking for work and a lower rate of private-sector job growth.”

Hederman believes state lawmakers should make significant tax reform a high priority when it begins a new session in January.

“The next General Assembly will take their seats in early 2023 and begin work on Ohio’s next biennial budget,” Hederman said. “With state tax receipts exceeding projects a health budget surplus, Ohio lawmakers should prioritize meaningful tax reform that will incentivize Ohioans to invest in business opportunities and encourage families and businesses to relocate from high-tax states and make the Buckeye State their home.”

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