COLUMBUS — Increases in Ohio’s employment and labor force participation rates last month make the state a national leader, according to a policy analyst at The Buckeye Institute. The state’s latest jobs report showed Ohio’s unemployment rate fell for the first time in nine months.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ May employment report, released Friday morning, shows the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in May from 5.2 percent in April. Labor force participation increased slightly in May to 63.6 percent from April’s 63.5 percent. Buckeye’s Joe Nichols said both combined make Ohio a national leader.
“Ohioans want to work, as evidenced by the continued increase in the state’s labor force participation, which is outpacing the national average,” Nichols said. “The fact unemployment finally dropped after nine months of stagnation means workers are starting to find jobs.”
Over the last year, the United States labor force participation has remained virtually flat at 62.8 percent. By comparison, Ohio’s labor force has grown nearly 1 percent over the last year to the current rate of 63.6 percent. Nichols says the state should continue to pursue policies to meet that rising demand.
“We should look at any policies or regulations that are barriers preventing Ohioans from finding meaningful work,” Nichols said. “Gov. Kasich’s recent signing of a measure that will allow cosmetologists to move up in their careers is representative of the types of reforms Ohio workers need.”
The May report shows educational and health services added the most jobs last month (+7,900). The biggest losses came from manufacturers of durable goods (-5,200). Local government also continued to shrink, with 4,700 job losses.
The Buckeye Institute analyzes Ohio’s unemployment rate to identify policy solutions for increasing job opportunities and strengthening the state economy.
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Founded in 1989, The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and educational institution – a think tank – whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.