Manufacturing helps boost Ohio jobs again

Ohio’s unemployment rate fell slightly last month, to 4.4 percent from 4.5 percent in February — and once again, manufacturing helped provide the boost.

The state’s non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 10,800 in March, from a revised 5,568,400 in February to 5,579,200, the state said in a monthly jobs report. 

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George Zeller, a Cleveland economist, called the overall addition of nearly 11,000 jobs just for the month of March “a favorable trend.”

But he noted that Ohio’s jobless rate still exceeds the nation’s rate.

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“The new data once again point out the vital importance of speeding up Ohio’s rate of recovery,” Zeller wrote in an email. “It will be more difficult to do that next month in the April data, since large mass layoffs at the General Motors Lordstown assembly plant have already been announced, but which are not yet measured in the new March 2018 data.”

GM’s Lordstown layoffs are scheduled for June and later in the summer, the company said in a letter to the state.

The U.S. unemployment rate for March was 4.1 percent, unchanged from February, and down from 4.5 percent in March 2017.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio last month was 253,000, down 9,000 from February. The number of unemployed has decreased by 40,000 in the past year.

The March unemployment rate for Ohio decreased from 5.1 percent in March 2017.

The U.S. unemployment rate for March was 4.1 percent, unchanged from February, and down from 4.5 percent in March 2017.

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Employment in goods-producing industries, at 928,700, increased 2,900 over the month due to gains in manufacturing (a gain of 1,500 jobs), construction (up 1,200 jobs), and mining and logging (up 200 positions).

The private service-providing sector, at 3,862,500, added 5,700 jobs. Employment gains in trade, transportation, and utilities (up 3,400 jobs), leisure and hospitality (1,600 added jobs), financial activities (+800), professional and business services (+800), and educational and health services (+300) surpassed losses in information and government employment, the state said.

In the past year, manufacturing added 11,600 jobs in durable goods and non-durable goods. Construction added 5,700 jobs and mining and logging added 900 jobs, the state said.

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