Metro Toledo's index of leading economic indicators was unchanged in December at 86.6, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said Tuesday. The index was up slightly from the December, 2011, reading of 86.5.
The measure factors employment, initial jobless claims, average weekly hours in manufacturing, and valuation of housing permits in an attempt to predict future economic activity.
An unchanged index suggests weak employment growth in the first half of the year, the state said.
Ohio's index rose 0.1 percent in December to 92.4. Of the eight metro areas the state tracks, four were unchanged and four were up.
The Youngstown-Boardman metro area index rose the most, up 0.3 percent to 87.5.
The index in the Cincinnati and Dayton metro areas was up 0.1 percent and the Cleveland metro area was up 0.2 percent. The index is based on a value of 100 as of the year 2000.
The state said metro Toledo's seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment rose by 0.4 percent to 302,000 in December. That's up from 300,000 in December, 2011. The average weekly hours in manufacturing rose 1.2 percent from November to December to 42.4.
However, the state said initial claims for unemployment compensation were higher in December than they were in November and in December, 2011.
In December, the state tallied 6,248 initial claims for unemployment, up 45 percent from November and up 13 percent from December, 2011.
The value of housing permits decreased by about 10 percent from November to December, but was up 21 percent year over year to $8.6 million.
Job and Family Services said December nonfarm employment in Ohio was 5.2 million.
That was down 0.2 percent from November, but up 1.8 percent over December, 2011.
The National Composite Index of Leading Indicators rose 0.5 percent in December to 93.9.
In December, 2011, the national index was 92.2.
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