There may not be many new jobs sprouting this spring in the greater Akron area.
The latest leading economic indicator index for Summit and Portage counties was flat, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The index for the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area — defined as the two counties combined — was unchanged from November to December at 97.6, the state reported.
Because the local index did not rise, that suggests there will be weak jobs growth in coming months. The December index was higher than 96.4 in December 2011 but remained below the initial level of 100 set in 2000.
The leading economic index for Ohio rose from 92.3 in November to 92.4 in December, suggesting weak job growth in upcoming months.
The Conference Board national leading economic index rose from 93.4 in December to 93.9 in December. The Conference Board recently revised the national index back to 1959, meaning that reported data for earlier months is not comparable to the latest figures. The national revisions also affect the Ohio Leading Indicator index.
The latest Akron metro index showed:
• Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose from 3,617 in November to 4,529 in December. Claims were higher than 4,471 in December 2011.
• Average weekly hours for manufacturing rose from 41.9 in November to 43.4 in December. Hours were up from 41.5 in December 2011.
• The valuation of housing permits rose from $7.55 million in November to $8.78 million in December and was well up from $3.85 million in December 2011.
Elsewhere in Northeast Ohio:
• The Canton-Massillon metro area index was unchanged from November to December at 89.7, suggesting weak job growth in the immediate future.
• The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor metro area index rose 0.2 points from November to 87.7 in December, meaning there may be moderate job growth in coming months.
• The Youngstown-Warren-Boardman metro area index rose 0.3 points from November to 87.5 in December, suggesting moderate jobs growth in coming months.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or email@example.com