Unemployment Rate in Ohio Experiencing Slight Rise
The department of Jobs and Family Services released Ohio’s jobs numbers this weekend, which showed unemployment rising slightly from 9 percent to 9.1 percent.
Department spokesman Ben Johnson released a statement regarding the report, citing instability in the business community.
“Consumer confidence is low, businesses appear to be reluctant to hire, and there are a number of other pressures on the economy right now,” Johnson said. “Joblessness has gone up steadily in the state in recent months since the rate stood at a more than two-year low of 8.6 percent during April and May. Ohio’s rising unemployment reflects concerns about the economy.”
In July, the unemployment rate was 9.0 percent. In August the economy lost 9,000 jobs, evening the state unemployment rate with the national rate. The report means Ohio has seen its unemployment rate rise for a third month in a row, although it remains much lower than this time last year. August 2010 saw unemployment levels at 9.9 percent.
The updated statistics from the Bureau of Labor Studies depicts a grim report about Ohio’s employment. Not only has the state lost jobs three months in a row, but Ohio also finds itself in the bottom half of state unemployment numbers. Ohio is currently ranked number 32 in the nation. Nevada, the state with the worst unemployment rate in the country, is at 13.4 percent while North Dakota is performing the best according to the updated stats, with a staggering 3.5 percent unemployment rate.
The jobs report comes as President Barack Obama has visited the buckeye state twice in the last week to rally support for his new jobs bill. The $447 billion American Jobs Act of 2011 is a mixture of infrastructure investments, tax cuts for middle class families and raising tax revenue on the top taxable income bracket.
Obama’s proposal was received with skepticism from Washington beltway republicans, but got an unlikely supporter in Columbus.
Ohio Governor John Kasich has indicated that he is open to parts of the jobs bill, specifically citing tax breaks for businesses and an extension of the payroll tax cut to put more money in the pockets of Ohio residents and make the state more business friendly. Kasich’s office did not respond before press time, but told the Dispatch last week that republicans in Washington should “take a very good look at the president’s agenda.”
Kasich’s surprising endorsement of parts of Obama’s plan signals an understanding from both parties that job creation is at the forefront of voters’ minds. Public policy polling showed that over three-fourths of people polled nationwide feel that job creation is the most important issue facing this country.