Gov. Kasich warns of another recession
But Ohio’s rate is back to the same level it was at a year ago, and job growth has failed to pick up as many analysts had expected.
The biggest job losses last month were in construction and manufacturing, which shed 7,400 and 5,800 jobs, respectively, according to the state jobs report. The losses offset gains in professional and business services, which added 6,100 jobs last month, and leisure and hospitality, where employment was up by 5,000.
The slowdown in construction hiring was not entirely unexpected because most construction workers were hired earlier in the year, according to Jon Keeling, a spokesman for the state jobs department, who was quick to point out that construction jobs are up by a healthy 8,200 since the end of last year.
Local construction boom boost profits for area firms
The decrease in the manufacturing sector was largely the result of temporary layoffs by Chrysler as they shift production of the Jeep Cherokee out of Toledo to make room for the next generation Jeep Wrangler, Keeling said. Chrysler has indicated all of those jobs will return.
Most working-aged Ohioans remained confident in such promises, based on the growth last month in the state’s labor force — or the number of people working or actively seeking jobs — which grew by more than 21,000. That pushed the state’s labor force participation rate to 63.1 percent — slightly above the national rate of 62.9 percent in April.
“Workers enter the labor force when they have confidence in the economy, and Ohio’s labor force has been surging over the past year,” said Keeling, who noted Ohio’s labor force has grown by 76,000 over the past 12 months.
U.S. unemployment rate edges closer to Ohio's
While the increase in the state’s labor force — which is based on household interviews conducted each month by the U.S. Census Bureau — was a bright spot in the jobs report, the number can be misleading, according to Orphe Divounguy, an economist with the The Buckeye Institute in Columbus.
“The household survey a lot of times just reflects confidence people have in their job prospects,” Divounguy said. “If you only looked at the household survey, you might think all of these people came into the workforce and found jobs because the unemployment rate is down. But when you look at at wage and emp0loyment estimates for Ohio based on surveys of actual employers, what you see is a decrease” in employment.
Many working-age men simply don't want a job
Still, Divounguy said the overall labor market picture remains positive based on trends for the U.S. economy that reflect increased labor market tightness, which should lead to higher wages, more part-time workers finding full-time jobs and a declining number of discouraged workers.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT APRIL UNEMPLOYMENT:
* Ohio’s April unemployment rate fell to 5 percent from 5.1 percent in March
* The state shed 5,700 jobs from nonfarm payrolls.
* Ohio’s jobless rate remained higher than the national rate, which edged down to 4.4 percent in April from 4.5 percent in the previous month.
* The U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in April
* The labor force grew by more than 21,000 in Ohio while posting a net gain of 12,000 nationwide.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics