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Ohio’s unemployment rate holds steady in February

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(The Center Square) – Ohio’s job market remained neutral in February, better than falling like the national figures, according to analysts.

The new numbers from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services bucked a trend of rising unemployment in the state that covered six months.

The state’s February unemployment rate of 3.7% was the same as January and below the national average of 3.9%. The labor force participation rate remained steady at 61.8%, below the national average of 62.5%.

“Although early, the first two months of 2024 indicate that Ohio’s job market is in neutral compared to a slightly cooling national market,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute.

The report showed Ohio added 3,500 private-sector jobs in February. Revisions for the January numbers showed the state added 1,200 private-sector jobs, down from the initial estimate of 6,400 during the month.

“Although unemployment is low, 2024 has gotten off to a tepid start,” Hederman said. “Ohio policymakers must redouble their efforts to implement policies that encourage entrepreneurs to open and expand businesses, which will create more jobs and bring more workers to Ohio. Regulatory reform and eliminating cumbersome, redundant rules that discourage innovation should be at the top of the list for lawmakers.”

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.

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