Ohio’s unemployment rate increased slightly in August, matching the national jobless rate.
The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 7.3 percent in August, up from 7.2 percent in July and also up from 7.2 percent a year ago, according to figures released Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in August, the lowest since 2008, down from 7.4 percent in July and 8.1 percent a year ago. But the drop in the national unemployment rate came because more people stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.
Ohio’s rate has varied only slightly throughout this year and had been hovering below the U.S. rate.
“All in all, the bad news was pretty much across the board,” wrote George Zeller, a Cleveland-based economic research analyst, in a note to clients. “Among the very few bright spots was a gain of 4,200 jobs in retail trade, a low wage industry.”
Ohio’s job growth rate has remained below the U.S. jobs growth rate for 14 consecutive months, Zeller said.
The latest weekly release of state unemployment claims, which act as an almost real-time indicator of the local economy, was also unfavorable, Zeller said. That means the September employment data so far is not improving from the August figures, he said.
The number of people counted as working in Ohio fell 8,200 from July to 5,200,600 in August.
The number of people counted as out of work in Ohio grew from 416,000 in July to 419,000 in August. A year ago, the state counted 410,000 people as unemployed.
The unemployment rate does not count people who are unemployed and who have stopped looking for work or people working part time but want full-time work.
Jobs in goods-producing industries in Ohio fell by 4,700 to 843,600. Manufacturing jobs fell by 2,500; construction dropped 2,100; and mining and logging lost 100.
Private service sector jobs fell by 5,600 to 3,608,800. Leisure and hospitality jobs dropped by 7,100; educational and health services fell 6,300; other services fell 900; and information dropped by 500.
Private service job gains came in trade, transportation, and utilities, up 4,900; professional and business services, up 3,900; and in financial activities, up 400.
Government employment grew by 2,100 to 748,200. Local government added 2,100 jobs; federal government added 400 jobs; and state government jobs fell by 400.