New Jobless Claims Tick up in Ohio, down in PA
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – New unemployment claims filed in Ohio increased to 9,851 for the week ended Oct. 9, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services – a gain of 629 from the previous week.
In its weekly report on jobless claims, the agency also said it received 50,733 continued unemployment claims for the week, up slightly from the 49,320 continued claims reported the week ended Oct. 2.
The eight-week average for new unemployment claims is 10,803 and, for continued claims, 111,663.
Ohio’s labor force participation rate is 60.8%, below the national rate of 61.7%, according to the most recent data. In August, the Buckeye State’s unemployment rate was 5.4%, ahead of the country’s 5.2%.
In Pennsylvania, initial jobless claims for the week ended Oct. 2 were 12,418, according to the most recent data available from its Center for Workforce Information and Analysis. That’s down from the 23,658 reported the week ended Sept. 25. Continued claims for the week ended Oct. 2 totaled 124,859, up from the 120,235 reported the week prior.
Nationally, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level since the pandemic began, a sign the job market is still improving even as hiring has slowed in the past two months.
Unemployment claims dropped 36,000 to 293,000 last week, the second straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the smallest number of people to apply for benefits since March 2020, when the pandemic intensified. Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily since last spring as many businesses, struggling to fill jobs, have held onto their workers.
Hiring has slowed in the past two months, even as companies and other employers have posted a near-record number of open jobs. Businesses are struggling to find workers as about three million people who lost jobs and stopped looking for work since the pandemic have yet to resume their job searches. Economists hoped more people would find work in September as schools reopened, easing child care constraints, and enhanced unemployment aid ended nationwide.
But the pickup didn’t happen, with employers adding just 194,000 jobs last month. In a bright spot, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from 5.2%, though some of that decline occurred because many of those out of work stopped searching for jobs, and were no longer counted as unemployed.
At the same time, Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers, with about 3% of workers doing so in August. Workers have been particularly likely to leave their jobs at restaurants, bars, and hotels, possibly spurred by fear of the delta variant of COVID-19, which was still spreading rapidly in August.
Other workers likely quit to take advantage of higher wages offered by businesses with open positions, or left jobs because child care for children too young to go to school has been harder to find.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.