|Ohio officials downplay higher unemployment numbers|
|Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:25 AM|
From Staff and Wire Reports
COLUMBUS — On the heels of news Thursday showing that yet another 3,371 people in the state had applied for unemployment benefits, Ohio’s unemployment rate for June was released showing a jump in the rate and a big loss of jobs.
According to the latest report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), the state’s jobless rate rose to 7.2 percent in June, up from 7.0 percent in both April and May. The rate is the highest in Ohio since last August.
The state showed a loss of 12,500 jobs in June which was the second largest amount of any state.
Data released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday showed unemployment rates increasing in 28 states last month, partly because more Americans began searching for work and not all of them got jobs. The government does not count people as unemployed unless they are actively looking for work.
The numbers showed a sharp increase in the number of people who had signed up for unemployment in Ohio. The state had the fifth-highest increase in the number in the week ending July 6. The job losses were blamed on layoffs in manufacturing, transportation, retail, and utilities.
An ODJFS spokesman pointed out that more people are confident in the economy and because of that they have embarked on a job hunt.
“When they become more confident that they’ll likely get a job, they actually start looking for a job,” said Benjamin Johnson, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. “And we know that as the labor force grows, it often results in an increase (in the rate) because not all the people entering the labor force will get a job right away.”
According to the report, the number of jobs dropped by 12,500 to just over 5.2 million while the number of unemployed increased by 8,000 to 413,000. Overall in the last 12 months, the number of unemployed has dropped by 5,000 people.
The June 2013 rate of 7.2 percent is just marginally lower than the jobless rate in June 2012 when it was 7.3 percent. However, Ohio’s rate has consistently remained below the national rate, which was 7.6 percent last month. The state’s unemployment rate peaked during the last half of 2009 and early 2010 at 10.6 percent before starting its trek downward.
State officials point to good economic news like that coming out of Toledo this week with the announcement by Chrysler that production on the new Jeep Cherokee should reach full production this September. The company has already hired 1,100 new workers for the Toledo plant which also makes the Jeep Wrangler.
In May, Ohio saw a loss of 3,100 manufacturing jobs, another 3,000 positions in the educational and health services fields and 7,100 local government jobs.
|Last Updated on Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:26 AM|