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Ohio’s unemployment rate continues to rise

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(The Center Square) – Ohio’s unemployment rate continued to climb in January, and some analysts call the state’s job market weak despite a record-setting number of jobs in 2023.

According to figures released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the state’s January unemployment rate of 3.7% was up from December’s 3.6%, continuing a trend that began in August.

The rate was equal to the national figure.

Also, the state’s labor participation rate remained unchanged at 61.8%, below the national average.

Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute, said the figures show a weaker job market.

“The fact that some sectors – construction and leisure and hospitality – reported job losses, while others – professional business services – reported substantial gains is evidence that Ohio’s job market has cooled since the summer and early fall of 2023,” Hederman said.

Overall, private-sector jobs grew by 6,400 in January.

As previously reported by The Center Square, the state set a record of 3.3% unemployment in July, the second consecutive month of record-setting unemployment.

Since then, the rate rose to 3.4% in August and held steady in September. It hit 3.6% in October, November and December, but the state lost jobs in November for the first time in more than a year.

“To reverse the cooling trend, Ohio policymakers should focus on comprehensive spending reductions and tax reforms to ensure Ohioans keep more of what they earn and implement policies that encourage job growth, business expansion, and attract new employers to the Buckeye State,” Hederman said.

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