By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer
Ohio’s unemployment rate fell below 7 percent in January as the state added nearly 17,000 jobs from December.
Ohio’s jobless rate dropped to 6.9 percent in January from 7.1 percent in December, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The jobless rate was 7.3 percent a year ago.
Ohio’s unemployment rate remained above the U.S. rate of 6.6 percent in January. (The federal government released national unemployment statistics for February on Friday; Ohio’s February jobs figures will be released later this month.)
People counted as working in Ohio grew 16,700, from 5,268,900 in December to 5,285,600 in January. That is the largest number of people counted as working in January since a low of 5,005,900 in 2010 going back to the start of the century. The jobs figures were adjusted to take into account seasonal factors.
Over the past 14 years, the largest number of people counted as working in the month of January was 5,619,400 in 2000. Looked at another way, there are 333,800 fewer people counted as working in January 2014 in Ohio as there were in January 2000.
“Ohio also has still not recovered from the 2007 ‘Great Recession,’ and our state still has 197,000 fewer jobs than it had before the terrible ‘Great Recession’ hit us,” George Zeller, Cleveland economic analyst who studies employment figures, said in a note. “Thus, we continue to still have an urgent need to speed up Ohio’s too slow rate of recovery.”
The unemployment figures do not count people who have stopped looking for work or who are working part time but want a full-time job.
The number of unemployed people fell from 411,000 in December to 395,000 in January.
Jobs in goods-producing industries grew 10,900 from December to 876,500 in January. Construction added 8,000 jobs; manufacturing added 2,400; and mining and logging grew by 500.
Jobs in private service industries grew by 3,300. Professional and business services added 5,900; leisure and hospitality added 3,400; and financial activities added 1,100. Trade, transportation, and utilities jobs fell by 5,200; information jobs dropped by 1,000; educational and health services jobs fell by 600; and other services fell 300.
Government employment added 2,500 jobs for a total of 756,500 in January. Local governments added 2,900 jobs, state government added 600; federal government jobs fell by 1,000.
The state will release January county and city employment figures on Tuesday. Ohio’s February employment figures are scheduled to be released March 21, followed by county and city figures on March 25.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.