Unemployment rate falls, but work force doesn’t gain much ground
Saturday, June 21, 2014 12:00 AM
COLUMBUS — The jobless rate looks good, but the numbers behind the rate are not all that strong. The state unemployment rate fell from 5.7 percent in April to 3.3 percent in May, according to a report issued Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The rate may be down, but the number of new jobs was only 2,900 bringing the number of employed workers in Ohio to 5,298,300, while the number of unemployed was reduced by only 11,000. Since a person is only counted as unemployed if he is jobless and looking for work, many are concluding that more people are giving up on looking for a job.
Usually the same pattern for the state report will carry over to the county-by-county reports which will be released on Tuesday. So at this point, lower rates are expected in that report with a relatively small number of new jobs. In April, Van Wert County had a 4.6 percent jobless rate with 12,900 on the job and just 600 unemployed workers. Allen County’s rate was 5.4 percent with 45,3000 working and 2,600 unemployed, In Putnam County, the rate fell to 4.4 percent with 16,600 unemployed and 800 jobless.
Across Ohio, the increase in service-providing jobs of 3,600 was led by an additional 6,900 in professional and business services, but the number of leisure and hospitality jobs bell by 4,300. Manufacturing and mining jobs increased by 2,900 jobs, but construction work was down by 3,600 jobs.
Over the past 12 months, construction jobs were up 2,800 jobs and manufacturing positions increased by 11,700. Jobs in professional and business services increased by just over 20,000 jobs, while government workers decreased by 3,400. Job growth was also seen in trade, transportation and utilities (6,900), education and health services (5,300), and other services (5,100).
Since December 2007, the size of Ohio’s labor force — number of employed workers plus the number of those unemployed and looking for work — has fallen from 5,950,000 to 5,730,000.