However, August’s unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 4.2 percent in August 2019, a clear sign of COVID-19’s lingering effect on the state’s economy.
“In August, Ohio continued its slow recovery from the pandemic recession with the unemployment rate falling slightly to 8.9 percent,” Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute and vice president of policy, said in a statement.
“Although this is a small drop, the number of Ohioans in the labor force [62.2 percent labor participation rate] increased by 1 percent — a notable jump from the sharp decline in July’s report,” Hederman added. “Although we still have much work to do to fully recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, the increase of Ohioans in the labor market — which is higher than the national average of 61.7 percent — and the fact that unemployment held steady shows the economy continues to slowly recover and people continue to find work.”
The unemployment rate nationally for August was 8.4 percent, a decrease from 10.2 percent in July. It is, however, up from 3.7 percent in August 2019.
“Although there are glimmers of hope in the August numbers, Ohio’s recovery is slow, and at the current pace of hiring, the state will not fully recover until the summer of 2021,” Hederman said. “That is too long for Ohioans who are in desperate need of a job to wait.
Policymakers “must prioritize economic policies that will spur hiring and the creation of new jobs — such as suspending Ohio’s commercial activities tax and adopting regulatory reforms that make it easier for businesses to hire and promote workers,” Hederman added. “And at a time when so many businesses are struggling, lawmakers at the state and federal level should also make it easier for businesses to get no-interest loans so they have enough money to meet their expenses and keep their doors open.”
— Story courtesy of The Center Square.