Ohio added 45,500 jobs in August, well below the number of jobs restored to the economy earlier in the summer.
More than 45,000 jobs were added in Ohio in August, according to a report Friday that suggests the state’s economic recovery has slowed considerably since early summer.
Despite the job gains, the state’s unemployment rate stood at 8.9% in August, nearly identical to July’s 9% rate and slightly above the U.S. rate of 8.4%, according to the monthly report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
A separate survey found that 510,000 Ohioans remained without jobs in August the same as in July.
In August, 45,500 Ohio jobs were restored, below the 63,000 jobs added in July and well below the 213,000 workers called back in June.
Jobs were added in health care, transportation, professional services, and even in the battered leisure and hospitality industries.
But the gains don’t come close to making up for the enormous losses in some areas. The field of leisure and hospitality, which includes the hotel and restaurant industries, for example, has lost 152,000 jobs since February even after including the summer’s gains, said Bill LaFayette, who runs the economic consulting firm Regionomics.
Ohio’s total payroll in August was 452,000 down from February, he said.
“If you compare that to our entire gain from the beginning of 2010 to the beginning of 2020, we’ve lost close to a decade of growth,” LaFayette noted. “We’re growing the labor force, but it’s certainly nowhere near what it was before all this hit.”
Some jobs gained in August also are unlikely to last, including 8,200 U.S. government positions.
“There was a surge in federal government employment for the month due to hiring for the 2020 U.S. Census, which should be reversed in coming months,” said Nationwide economist Ben Ayers. “Because of this, the Ohio job gains for August were slightly inflated.”
Given how dramatically Ohio’s workforce has declined during the coronavirus crisis, Ayers anticipates a slow climb back.
“The labor market in Ohio is still showing stress from the steep economic decline over the first half of the year,” he noted.
“While we expect further improvement from here, it is likely to take a few years before the Ohio economy and jobs markets fully recovers from COVID-19.”