Analyst: Ohio Job Market ‘Significantly Stronger’ To Start 2013

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.(Photo: JobsOhio)
.(Photo: JobsOhio)

Ohio’s jobless rate fell this year, to 6.8%. That’s better than the national average. Even with the recent improvement in the jobless rate, more than 390,000 Ohioans remain unemployed as 2012 comes to a close.

Ohio Means Jobs-dot-com spokesman, Ben Johnson, describes the state’s labor market as significantly stronger than it was a year ago but he wouldn’t be surprised to see a slight bump in the unemployment rate in January.

“The unemployment rate tends to spike in January and that’s because it’s not seasonally adjusted and there are large numbers of holiday employees who see their jobs end at the end of December or the beginning of January.” Says Ben Johnson,

While the number of help wanted ads posted by Ohio employers during the last several months has leveled off. Statewide 200,000 jobs remain unfilled. Johnson says that many job openings might draw some long-term unemployed back into the labor market.

“One of the things that can happen that’s a bit counter-intuitive is that as those people get back into the labor force unemployment can actually increase, temporarily, because of this flood of new people looking for work. We haven’t really seen that happen yet. What we have seen coming out of this recession is a relatively slow, but steady, improvement in the economy.” Adds Johnson.

Johnson says as the new year starts, transportation and nursing are among the job occupations with the most openings.