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Ohio's jobless rate continues to trend upward, rising to 9.1 percent in August and matching the U.S. level, a report shows.
Ohio was one of 26 states where the unemployment rate increased last month and one of 30 states where payrolls declined. Michigan, whose jobless rate of 11.2 percent was released Wednesday, also had a rising rate and a declining job picture.
The number of unemployed in Ohio increased by 7,000 last month to 536,000 and the jobless rate climbed from 9 percent in July, according to the state Department of Job and Family Services. A year ago, the rate was 9.9 percent. Payrolls dropped by 700 in August.
The result meant the Ohio rate was no longer below the national rate, which was 9.1 percent in August. Michigan's rate also exceeds the national rate, and it lost 6,000 jobs last month.
In Ohio, the biggest job losses last month were in manufacturing, utilities, retail, professional and business services, arts and recreation, and food and other services, state figures show. That stemmed from slack hiring.
"There was a small loss of payroll jobs in general," said Ken Mayland, an economist with ClearView Economics in suburban Cleveland. "We saw a pattern kind of like the rest of the nation. It seemed like employers went on holiday, but I actually think it was something worse than that."
Political wrangling over the debt ceiling, he said, "put a fear in employers, leaving them not knowing what's going to happen and that affected drastically hiring all over the country" in August. "Hopefully, that's behind us."
George Zeller, an economic research analyst in Cleveland, said Ohio broke a 14-year trend of having slower job growth than the rest of the country.
In fact, the state had been showing an improved employment picture until the August report, he said.
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