State jobless rate unchanged in November

Improved jobs performance for Ohio in November capped a disappointing year so far overall.

Ohio’s unemployment rate remained lodged at 4.9 percent in November, still slightly above the national rate, unchanged from October, state government said Friday.

Ohio’s non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 9,100 last month, from a revised 5,497,300 in October to 5,506,400 in November.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in November was 278,000, down 2,000 from 280,000 in October, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed has increased by 9,000 over the past year from 269,000.

Over the past year, Ohio jobs have grown by only 0.9 percent, less the national average of 1.6 percent, said Hannah Halbert, a researcher with Policy Matters Ohio.

“Even with the more positive report today, 2016 is on track to be one of the poorest performing years since the end of the 2007 recession,” Halbert said.

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The November unemployment rate for Ohio was 0.2 percentage points higher than the November 2015 rate of 4.7 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate for November was 4.6 percent, 0.3 percentage points lower than in October 2016, and 0.4 percentage points lower than November 2015.

“November 2016 was the fourth consecutive month when Ohio’s job growth was below the USA national average,” Cleveland economist George Zeller said in an email. “Put another way, Ohio has now had job growth below the USA national average for 47 of the last 48 months.”

Last week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich warned in the wake of disappointing tax receipts that the state may face a recession.

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In goods-producing industries, construction added 3,600 jobs, while manufacturing lost 1,000 and mining and logging lost 400, the state said Friday.

In the private services sector, the strongest employment gains were in leisure and hospitality at an added 10,300 jobs while financial activities added 800 jobs.

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Educational and health services lost 2,100 jobs while trade, transportation, and utilities lost 1,100 jobs, the state said, and professional and business services lost 1,000 jobs.

Government employment, at 780,400 total jobs, grew 1,300 as gains in local (+1,100 jobs) and state (+500) government outweighed losses in federal government (-300), the state said.

County, city and metropolitan area unemployment rates for November are scheduled to be posted online Tuesday.

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