Jobs added but jobless claims go up

Staff report


October was a positive month for Ohio with 13,900 jobs added in the state and 10,000 fewer people unemployed.

The state’s unemployment rate is 6.9 percent for the month, down from 7.1 percent in September, according to figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services released Friday. The unemployment rate in October 2011 was 8.3 percent.

Sizable employment gains for the state for the month were found in five areas: service, 16,000; business services, 7,300; government, 5,200; educational and health services, 3,400; and other services, 3,100. Other services include positions in industries such as automotive, appliance repair, dry-cleaning services and working for professional, civic, religious or other organizations

There were job losses in Ohio in October in trade, transportation and utilities, 3,800; goods-producing industries, 2,100 and manufacturing, 2,200. In addition, there were 200 fewer mining and logging jobs in the state.

Despite the positive news coming from the state, George Zeller, a Cleveland-based economist, states the picture isn’t positive when looking at new unemployment claims, which are released every Thursday.

“Ohio suffered a substantial relapse last week as new unemployment claims increased sharply throughout Ohio in the new data for the first week in November 2012,” he said.

“Those increases took a further turn for the worse in the new data today for the second week in November. Some of that increase was likely storm-related, but the increase was very large and alarming.”

The state has had 12-straight weeks of increasing new unemployment claims, Zeller said.

“It is now known that improved Ohio data during the last three weeks in January and the first week in February were false-positive indicators of improvement that were not caused by the end of job destruction in Ohio,” he said.

The improvements were caused instead by large seasonal distortion that is always present in January data, Zeller said.

The goal is to measure the point where Ohio’s recessionary contraction in the labor market from the last decline comes to an end, he said.

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