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Ohio sheds jobs for first time in more than a year

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(The Center Square) – Ohio lost jobs in November for the first time in more than a year, according to figures recently released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The report showed the state’s unemployment rate remained at 3.6% in November, and the labor force participation rate stayed at 62%. Nationally, however, the unemployment rate dropped from 3.9% to 3.7%.

Ohio employers cut 5,300 jobs in November, the first time businesses stopped hiring since October 2022. That figure also comes in as 700 UAW returned to work following their strike against the nation’s Big Three automakers.

The report showed a drop of 3,900 construction jobs, which is typical for the late fall, but retailers also shed 1,700 jobs in November and staffed 5,500 fewer workers than a year ago.

“Today’s job losses could have two possible explanations,” Michael Shields, an economist with Policy Matters Ohio, said. “One is that the seasonal adjustment could be throwing off our numbers a little and we’re still on a growth trend. On the other hand, we could be seeing real job losses. The other survey we look at on jobs day has been pointing to losses for three months.”

Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute, said the slower job market should put focus on lawmakers when they return to work in January.

“While not exactly a lump of coal, Ohio’s job market has slightly cooled in the last few months of the year, and in 2024, policymakers will return to Columbus facing a job market weaker than the first half of 2023. To ring in the New Year, lawmakers will need to focus on further reforms to Ohio’s tax system and modernizing the state’s economic system,” Hederman said.

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