The state’s jobless rate has fallen to 4.7 percent, its lowest level since last March.
January’s unemployment rate went down two tenths of a point from December’s revised rate of 4.9 percent. Hannah Halbert from the progressive think tank Policy Matters Ohio says that’s good news – but with a caveat. “It certainly suggests that the Ohio economy is starting to edge closer to full employment. But when we look at the numbers going into that rate, we see that there’s a lot of slack and a lot of work that still needs to be done,” Halbert said.
Halbert says the state’s labor force is still more than three and a half percent smaller than it was when the recession started a decade ago. And the state’s jobless rate is still more than a half a point higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.