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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 6/5/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

Indicators have Toledo economy on slow mend

Local growth up .01%; Dayton shows promise

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

A state report released this week found the Dayton metro area shows the most promise for job growth in the coming months, while metro Toledo’s economy will likely continue improving, but at a sputtering pace.

State officials said metro Dayton’s index of leading indicators rose half a percent in April to 86.5, pointing to employment growth in the summer months. Dayton’s jump was the largest improvement in the state, though Dayton’s economy still lags the rest of Ohio’s major metro areas.

The index measures employment, initial jobless claims, average weekly hours in manufacturing, and valuation of housing permits in an attempt to predict future economic activity.

The data is compiled and released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Metro Toledo’s index of leading indicators rose a tenth of a percent to 90.3 in April.

That’s the highest level in more than five years for Toledo, though the area showed the least improvement among Ohio’s eight largest metro areas.

Akron, Cincinnati, and Columbus all rose by 0.4 percent, Cleveland and Youngstown rose by 0.3 percent, and Canton rose by 0.2 percent.

The state says an increase of 0.1 percent points to slow but continued employment.

Employment in metro Toledo, comprised of Lucas, Fulton, Ottawa, and Wood counties, fell by a few hundred jobs from March to 309,200 in April. Initial claims for unemployment also rose about 7 percent over the period to 2,336.

Compared to last year, however, the area has added jobs (about 2,000) and seen initial claims for unemployment fall (by 24 percent.)

The average weekly hours in manufacturing in April was 42.4 hours worked, up slightly from March’s 42.3 hours. A year ago the average weekly hours worked was 42.

Ohio officials said statewide non-farm employment rose slightly to 5.9 million in April.

Over the previous 12 months, employment grew by approximately 55,300, and officials said employment levels in April were at their highest level since October, 2008.

Overall, the state’s leading indicators rose a tenth of a percent in April to 94.7.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134 or on Twitter @BladeAutoWriter.



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