Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped for the 11th month in a row and the state gained 18,400 jobs in June, the second-largest gain for any state.
The state’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in June, down from 7.3 percent in May, according to seasonally adjusted data released Friday by the state Department of Job and Family Services.
The number of unemployed workers in Ohio in June was 419,000, down from 426,000 in May. The number of unemployed has decreased by 96,000 in the past 12 months from 515,000, the report said.
The June unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 8.9 percent in June of last year.
June’s job growth started a new one-month streak with Ohio’s job growth being above the national average, said Cleveland-based economic research analyst George Zeller.
However, the state made a downward revision to May’s previously released employment numbers by 1,400, extending an 11-month streak to a full year of sub-par job growth below the national average before June’s numbers broke the streak, he said.
Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment total for May was adjusted to 5,157,500 from 5,158,900 and rose to 5,175,900 in June.
“The good news is that we had a large job gain. It was again driven by manufacturing,” said Zeller. “The biggest driver of the recovery is manufacturing, which is extraordinarily good news.”
According to the report released Friday, manufacturing added 4,700 jobs in June.
However, Zeller said the chief factor in slowing down the recovery is employment in local government sectors, where 8,100 jobs were lost in June.
“The largest contributor to that is school districts,” said Zeller, referring to layoffs of staff at such districts as Akron and Cleveland. Earlier this month, Akron Public Schools laid off 84 teachers.
“Other districts all around the state are laying off people,” he said.
Ohio gained 2,500 jobs in professional and technical services and 2,400 in utilities and 3,500 in construction jobs while losing 1,000 jobs in financial activities and 1,100 jobs in administrative, support and waste services.
Overall, goods-producing industries gained 8,400 jobs, while the service sector gained 10,000.
Nationwide, California had the largest job increase from May to June with 38,300 new jobs, followed by Ohio at 18,400 and North Carolina at 16,900, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Payrolls increased in 29 states in June, while 21 lost jobs, indicating limited progress in the U.S. labor market.
The unemployment rate rose in 27 states, fell in 11 and the District of Columbia, and was unchanged in 12.
Alabama and New Jersey showed the biggest increases in unemployment. The rate in Alabama climbed to 7.8 percent in June from 7.4 percent the prior month. New Jersey’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.6 percent in June, the highest in almost two years, from 9.2 percent as more people entered the labor force looking for work.
Nevada continued to have the nation’s highest unemployment rate, at 11.6 percent. Rhode Island was second, with a rate of 10.9 percent, followed by California at 10.7 percent.
North Dakota had the lowest unemployment in the nation, at 2.9 percent, followed by Nebraska at 3.8 percent.
States showing the largest decreases in employment were Wisconsin, Tennessee and Maryland.
Benjamin Johnson, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said while Ohio’s unemployment rate has been below the national average for some time and while “we have added 81,600 jobs in 2012, there are still 419,000 unemployed Ohioans. The economy is getting better and the job market is improving, but it’s happening slowly. There are still many Ohioans looking for work and that’s not different than what we’ve been saying for more than a year now.”
“Ohio is recovering from the recession in one sense and that’s a good thing,” said Zeller. “It is recovering by this extraordinarily large 18,400 jobs. But the downside is that we are slowing the recovery down with all of these local government cuts. That showed up clearly in the figures today.”
Bloomberg News contributed to this report. Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blinfisher and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/betty