Ohio’s unemployment rate in February remained at 7 percent, but the state gained 16,100 jobs last month, figures released Friday show.
Still, Ohio’s recovery is weak, said George Zeller, a Cleveland researcher who analyzes economic data for Northeast Ohio policymakers.
“In fact, it got weaker” taking into account revised figures, Zeller said.
He noted that the state’s new — revised — figures show Ohio has lost 273,000 jobs since the Great Recession began in 2007. That’s a higher number than earlier data showed, he said.
“That’s 5 percent of all jobs in the state since December of 2007 — and that’s including the big gain of 16,100 jobs in February,” Zeller said.
Also, Zeller said, February marked the seventh consecutive month that Ohio’s rate of job growth was below the national average.
“We need to speed up our rate of recovery,” Zeller said.
Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate of 7 percent for February remained below the U.S. national rate. The U.S. rate for February was 7.7 percent.
In January, when Ohio’s rate was 7 percent, the national rate was 7.9 percent.
Ohio nonfarm jobs totaled 5,197,200 in February. That’s up 16,100 from the revised figure for January, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
From January to February, jobs in goods-producing industries in the state fell by 2,500. That was due to declines in construction jobs (-3,700), the state said.
A bright spot, Zeller said, was manufacturing, which saw an increase of 1,200 jobs from January to February.
However, Zeller said, all of that statewide gain in manufacturing jobs came from the nondurable goods manufacturing sector, which includes food manufacturing. Durable goods manufacturing actually lost 1,400 jobs in February, Zeller said.
Durable goods manufacturing jobs are seen as key to a continued recovery as they produce spinoff jobs in related industries.
Service-providing industries, at 3,596,500 jobs in February, added 17,600 jobs from January. Government employment, at 749,800, gained 1,000 jobs. Job losses in service industries occurred only in the trade, transportation and utilities industries.
From February 2012 to February 2013, however, government employment decreased 11,200 through losses in local government (-6,000), state government (‑4,000), and federal government (-1,200).
Manufacturing gained 8,400 jobs in nondurable goods (+5,300) and durable goods (+3,100) from February 2012 to February 2013.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com.