(The Center Square) – Ohio businesses are faring better than those in most other states when it comes to hiring, according to a new report, but some call the state’s most-recent job growth numbers sluggish and believe steps should be taken to stabilize the economy.
WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked Ohio 13th in terms of states struggling the least when it comes to hiring in its report.
“The labor market could swoon in the coming months, but even so people with the requisite skills are rethinking how they wish to work, and indeed (especially if they are older) the role of work in their lives overall,” said Evan W. Osborne, a professor of economics at Wright State University. “In my view, this red-hot market for many but not all employees cannot last forever. But it is in fact a new world, and we are all grappling with it.”
Ohio had a job openings rate in May of 7.1%, which was higher than the 6.67% over and over the last 12 months. Those numbers placed it well ahead of all its neighbors, other than Pennsylvania.
In May, Ohio’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9% from 4% in April, which remained higher than the national average of 3.6%. At the same time, the state’s labor participation rate moved from 61.8% in April to 62% in May, also lower than the national average of 62.3%.
The number of jobs created in Ohio fell significantly from 9,000 in April to 1,600 new jobs in May, and the state remains 90,000 jobs below prepandemic levels in February 2020.
“Although Ohio’s job market fell behind the national average in the last half of 2021, the state is catching up due to strong job growth in the spring,” said Rea Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group. “However, recent economic news has been grim, with inflation spiking to 40-year highs and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to a nearly 30-year high. While preparing Ohio for a potential economic downturn, Ohio policymakers need to continue to focus on promoting strong job growth. Two smart ways to prepare for the future are to replenish Ohio’s unemployment compensation fund in case of a recession and work with cities to help them modernize their tax policy.”
The states where employers are struggling the most include Alaska, Kentucky, Georgia, Montana and Iowa. The best states include New York, the District of Columbia, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.