Ohio unemployment rises; state sets record for jobs

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(The Center Square) – Ohio’s unemployment rate rose, and the labor participation rate fell in December despite the state adding 5,000 new jobs, according to a report from the Department of Job and Family Services.

The state’s December unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, equal to the national average. Also, the labor force participation rate fell to 61.9%, lower than the national average.

Overall, though, analysts call 2023 a good year for state workers.

“Despite the slight increase in the unemployment rate, Ohio added 5,000 new private-sector jobs in December, and 2023 was a good year for Ohio workers overall,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute. “The state started the year with an unemployment rate of 4.1% – almost half a percent higher than the current rate, and for much of 2023, Ohio’s job market outpaced the national average.”

December’s job growth erased a November dip, pushing the state to a record 5.7 million jobs.

The report said service providers added 8,400 jobs in the month, while government added 2,000.

However, 3,400 jobs were lost in the goods production section, and construction lost 4,100. Manufacturing gained 700.

“A key to Ohio’s success is the tax and regulatory reform policies that lawmakers adopted,” Hederman said. “To keep the Buckeye State moving forward, lawmakers should continue to pursue further reforms in these areas. Twenty-three state agencies cut regulations by at least 10 percent in 2023, with further cuts planned. These reforms will allow employers to expand their businesses faster and entrepreneurs to innovate and start new businesses. This growth will create more jobs for Ohio’s workers.”

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