Unemployment Slips to 4% in January

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Statewide unemployment in Ohio declined to 4% in January, down from a revised 4.1% the month before, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Friday. Nonagricultural wage and salary employment in the state rose 14,800 from December, from a revised 5,554,700 in December to 5,569,500 in January.  

Household survey data showed the number of workers unemployed in Ohio in January was 229,000, down from 236,000 in December. The number of unemployed has decreased by 7,000 in the past 12 months from 236,000. The January unemployment rate for Ohio decreased 0.1% from 4.1% in January 2022.

The U.S. unemployment rate for January 2023 was 3.4%, compared with 4.0% a year earlier and down from 3.5% in December.

In January, Ohio’s labor force participation rate was 61.2%, unchanged from 61.2% in December and down from 61.4% in January 2022. During the same period, the national labor force participation rate was 62.4%, up from 62.3% in December 2022 and up from 62.2% in January 2022.

Employment in goods-producing industries, at 936,500, increased as gains in construction and mining and logging outpaced losses in manufacturing. The private service-providing sector, at 3,866,100, added 12,500 jobs.

Gains in professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; private educational and health services; and other services exceeded losses in trade, transportation, and utilities; financial activities; and information. Government employment, at 766,900, increased 2,200 with gains in local, state and federal government.

Year over year, nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 88,500 in January. Employment in goods-producing industries increased 22,700. Manufacturing added 13,800 jobs in durable goods and nondurable goods. Construction added 8,500 jobs and mining and logging gained 400 jobs.

Employment in the private service-providing sector increased 61,900. Gains in leisure and hospitality; private educational and health services; other services; and financial activities outweighed losses in professional and business services; information; and trade, transportation, and utilities. Government employment increased 3,900 with gains in local, state and federal government.

“While other manufacturing indicators have shown signs of weakness for a few months, this is the first real signal from the jobs market confirming that sentiment. Higher interest rates hit sectors of our economy a bit differently, and manufacturing now seems to be bearing the brunt of the Federal Reserve’s policies,” Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing in Washington, said.

“The Federal Reserve must understand its interest rate hikes are putting the brakes on all the momentum we’ve gathered in manufacturing,” he continued. “We’d be wise to change course. That said, I remain optimistic about the manufacturing jobs market looking ahead, with new investments set to take root in the coming months.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.