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Ohio’s unemployment rate dips in October

(The Center Square) – More Ohioans returned to work in October, and the state’s unemployment rate fell slightly as the holiday season is in full swing across the Buckeye State.

The state’s jobless rate fell to 5.1% in October from 5.3% in September, which matched the same rate of decline as the national unemployment figure, according to numbers released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 4.6% in October.

The new report is a positive sign, according to Rea Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group.

“The holidays arrived a little early in Ohio with a strong October jobs report that saw the unemployment rate fall from 5.3 percent to 5.1 percent and saw more workers return to the labor force,” Hederman said. “The decline of two-tenths of a percent matched the national decline of 4.8 to 4.6 percent, signaling that in Ohio, and across the country, workers are finding new jobs and filling the record-high openings.”

The private sector created 20,000 jobs in Ohio in October, according to the state’s office of workforce development, with nearly every business sector adding jobs. Two key sectors were transportation and warehousing, where 4,100 jobs were added and supply chain struggles continued across the country. The leisure and hospitality sector in Ohio added 8,200 jobs during the month.

Private-sector employment in the state, however, remains nearly 200,000 jobs below pre-pandemic levels.

“It is apparent that Ohio’s economy and how people work will look significantly different than it did prior to the pandemic. We are already seeing these changes in many areas,” Hederman said. “Ohio policymakers – at the state and local level – must get out in front of these changes to take advantage of these advancements.

“As more people work from home, local leaders must look for new ways fund city budgets, and state policymakers need to move swiftly to restore Ohio’s leadership in technology and innovation to make Ohio a more attractive place to live and work.”

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