Ohio led the nation in the number of jobs created in May.
The jobless rate for May remained unchanged from April even as the state added more than 32,000 jobs.
May’s numbers are considered a turnaround after the state led the nation in the number of jobs lost in March.
The state had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7 percent last month, the same as in April and down from 7.3 percent a year ago, according to figures released Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The U.S. unemployment rate for May was 7.6 percent.
The state counted 5,213,900 people as employed last month compared to 5,181,800 in April.
The number of people counted as unemployed also rose — up 5,000 from April to 405,000 in May.
Job-seekers, particularly those with college degrees, are finding it easier to find employers now compared to a year ago, said Katherine Smith, division director for Robert Half Accountemps in Akron.
“Our numbers are up,” she said.
In Northeast Ohio, manufacturing companies are increasing their hiring, including highly qualified entry-level workers, Smith said.
“We are seeing a huge uptick from manufacturing companies,” she said. “A lot of companies are looking for [people with college] degrees.”
Smith said her firm also is seeing an increase in the number of people getting multiple job offers compared to the recent past.
For the first five months of 2013, Ohio added 38,900 jobs, said George Zeller, Cleveland-based economic research analyst.
The job gains this year show “a far slower rate of employment growth than was seen last year in 2012,” Zeller said in a note.
The state’s job growth rate was hit hard by a loss of 21,600 jobs in March, Zeller said.
Ohio still has yet to recover hundreds of thousands of jobs lost since 2000, he said.
“Ohio’s loss of jobs between 2000-2013 is now 422,300, a massive 7.5 percent of the jobs that Ohio had a decade ago,” he said.
The main segment slowing Ohio’s jobs recovery is government, where there were 5,600 fewer jobs in May compared to May 2012, Zeller said.
Manufacturers added 800 jobs last month and the construction industry added 3,900 jobs. Total jobs in goods-producing industries was at 856,300.
Jobs in private service industries went up by 20,200 from April to 3,604,200.
Professional and business services added 7,300; educational and health services added 6,700; leisure and hospitality increased by 5,800; financial activities added 900; and other services was up by 100. Jobs fell by 300 in trade, transportation, and utilities industries and by 300 in information.
Local government jobs increased by 6,300; state jobs rose by 600 and federal jobs were up 300. Total government jobs stood at 753,400.
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