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Valley unemployment rate rises, as labor force shrinks

Published: Wed, November 27, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Tom McParland



As Ohio continued to slowly add jobs in September and October, the Mahoning Valley saw jumps in unemployment and a net loss of 2,000 in its workforce.

The seasonally unadjusted figures, released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, show the Valley’s unemployment rate spiked to 8.0 percent in September, up from 7.3 percent a year ago. October’s rate came in at 7.7 percent, an increase of 0.4 percent from 2012.

In September, the number of unemployed in the Valley jumped by 1,800 from a year ago. There was a less-severe bump of 1,200 in October.

In October, the Valley’s workforce shrank by 2,000, down from 263,000 last year.

George Zeller, a Cleveland-based economist, said the decline reflects a growing number of “discouraged workers” who have been unemployed for so long that they stopped looking for jobs.

The county-level unemployment figures, however, are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they don’t account for jobs created or lost during the summer and holiday months, as the state data do.

Cuts to government spending trimmed more than 8,000 state and local government jobs across Ohio in September and October.

According to Mekael Teshome, an economist for PNC Bank, that has strained the rest of the economy, causing the private sector to “shoulder the burden” of the economic recovery.

“We’re not firing on all cylinders,” he said.

The state’s manufacturing sector — key to the Valley’s economy — continued its recent slowdown, shedding 300 jobs statewide in two months.

“That is very critical to the Mahoning Valley,” which is home to General Motors’ Lordstown plant and other industries that support it, Zeller said.

In the early economic recovery, strong production here helped to mitigate some of the damage from the Great Recession, but manufacturing has leveled off lately.

“It’s going to grow at a slow pace,” Teshome said.

Meanwhile, Ohio continued to add jobs at a rate much below the national average.

“Overall, I still think we’re in the midst of a persistent and moderate recovery,” said Teshome, adding he expects to see similar trends extend into next year.

As the state hit 16-consecutive months of subpar job gains in October, the gap between Ohio’s rate of job growth and the national average widened.

In August, Ohio was adding jobs at a clip of 0.75 percent, compared with 1.67 percent nationally. But the state pace dropped to just 0.52 percent in October, as the national average rose to 1.70 percent.

“We are not adding jobs quickly enough,” Zeller said.


1formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 10 months, 4 weeks ago

"George Zeller, a Cleveland-based economist, said the decline reflects A GROWING NUMBER OF "DISCOURAGED WORKERS" who have been unemployed for so long that they stopped looking for jobs." (11/27/2013)

"As we move forward, the party and I as chairman, will continue to strive to......ATTRACT NEW BUSINESSES AND JOBS....THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CANDIDATES WHO ARE COMMITTED TO ACHIEVING THESE GOALS....." David Betras, Canfield, (11/24/2013)

Thanks to Dave and all of those committed Democratic leaders for 50 years of creating an economic culture so pathetic that more people are giving up looking for work. Of course, the more dependent people bribed with government support, the more they'll vote Democratic to keep those bribes coming. Keep those unemployment benefit extensions and food stamps coming, Dave. That should really improve economic growth (err, votes).

Kind of reminds me of the pathetic November election voter turnout generated by the "powerful" Democratic machine. If your loyal soldiers didn't canvass local nursing homes conning votes from people too sick to know their names in the name of compassion, the turnout would have been even lower. You are truly a man of a dying people You should be so proud of your "power base".

Of course, you couldn't have destroyed things by yourself. Cronies like Timmy Ryan, Bobby Hagan, Ron (I never knew a government job I didn't like even thought I wasn't really qualified) Gerberry, the Cafaro family, John McNally and the hundreds of other hardcore minions who slurp up your every word lest they be banished to Independent Hell should share in your "power grab". Little people are so important to a relatively "big fish in a small pond".

With your all-seeing leadership into economic oblivion, you and your faithful Democrats may not have much of an area voting base left in another 50 years of your omnipotent vision.

BTW, Dave, what city are you talking about in your 11/24 letter? The city that your party has helped to destroy for the past 50 years, or YOUR city of Canfield. Kind of ironic that your "concern" for Youngstown comes from someone who chooses to live in an area about as far removed from the problems you profess you are SO concerned about in Youngstown.

Didn't know things were so rough in Canfield. Keep striving, Dave, until Youngstown actually becomes a ghost town..

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2redeye1(4560 comments)posted 10 months, 4 weeks ago

@former As someone has stated " The POOR people have voted demoncratic for over 50 years and they are still POOR!" How can that be, the demoncrats are for the working people and the middle class? DUH!

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