Ohio's unemployment rate held steady at 7.2 percent in July, state officials said today.
The state's unemployment rate has consistently been lower than the U.S. rate, but the gap has been shrinking. U.S. unemployment dropped to 7.4 percent in July from 7.6 percent in June, and is down from 7.9 percent in January.
Ohio opened the year at 7 percent in January. The rate ticked up to 7.1 percent in February but again dropped to 7 percent before increasing to 7.2 percent in June.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said employment grew by 5,300 in July over the adjusted job figures from June, though there was an increase of 3,000 unemployed workers.
Officials said the state lost construction jobs in July, but gained manufacturing jobs.
In July, 2012, the statewide unemployment rate was also 7.2 percent. However, state officials said Ohio employers have added 37,700 jobs over the last 12 months. The biggest gains were in educational and health services, which added 20,800 jobs. Manufacturers added 8,200 jobs over the past 12 months, the state said.
The biggest job loss was in local government, which lost 8,700 jobs over the last year.