Ohio Unemployment Rate Down Slightly, PA Sees Big Drop

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In August, the unemployment rate in Ohio decreased slightly to 8.9%, down from a revised 9% in July. The rate in Pennsylvania dipped further to 10.3% in August, down from 12.5% the month prior.

Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 45,500 to 5,147,200 last month, up from a revised 5,101,700 in July, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The number of unemployed workers in the state was unchanged month-over-month at 510,000.

Employment in goods-producing industries increased by 4,200 to 883,700 as gains in manufacturing (+4,500) exceeded losses in construction (-300). Other sectors that saw gains include the private service-providing sector (+33,500), educational and health services (+12,300), professional and business services (+7,500), trade, transportation and utilities (+6,800), leisure and hospitality (+4,500), other services (+2,300) and information (+200).

Those gains outpaced losses in financial activities (-100).

Government employment increased 7,800 to 732,300 as gains in federal and local government (+8,200 and +900, respectively) outpaced losses at the state level (-1,300).

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate took a steep drop in August, as the labor force shrank and payrolls shot up again in a continuing rebound from shutdowns and the worst economic effects of the pandemic, according to state figures released Friday.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 10.3% in August, down 2.2 percentage points from July’s adjusted rate of 12.5%, the state Department of Labor and Industry said.

It had initially estimated July’s rate at 13.7%, among the highest in the nation, but still below the state’s pandemic-driven unemployment high of 16.1% in April, the highest rate in more than four decades of record-keeping.

It still badly lags the national rate, which was 8.4% in August.

Payrolls had another big rebound in August, gaining back almost 60,000 of the more than 1.1 million jobs lost since mid-March, when the pandemic hit Pennsylvania. With payrolls at nearly 5.6 million, Pennsylvania has regained slightly more than half the jobs lost in the last six months, according to state figures.

In a survey of households, the labor force shrank by 59,000 in August, receding to 6.3 million, well below the record high in February at close to 6.6 million. Unemployment fell by 144,000 while employment grew by 86,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.