Unemployment in Ohio fell in November to 4.8 percent, which is the lowest jobless rate the state has seen since the year 2000, according to new figures released Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The jobless rate previously dipped to 4.8 percent in November, 2015.
In its report the state said the November rate was down from 5.1 percent in October, and from 5.0 percent in November, 2016.
Although the last month’s rate is the lowest November rate since 2000, it is still significantly above the U.S. rate of 4.1 percent in November.
While the state jobless rate tied a 17-year low, economists were quick to point out that the number of Ohioans who have jobs decreased by 5,600 last month. The total employed in November was 5,539,800, down from 5,545,400 the previous month.
“The slow November, 2017 loss of 5,600 jobs in Ohio was a continuation of other relatively weak recent months when Ohio lost employment or gained jobs too slowly. The new figures mean that the speed at which Ohio is gaining jobs during an economic recovery continues to be too slow,” noted George Zeller, an economic research analyst based in Cleveland.
The November numbers show “Ohio has extended a streak of sub-par job growth to 60 consecutive months, or every month for precisely five full years,” Mr. Zeller added.
Hannah Halbert, a researcher at Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal-leaning think tank in Cleveland, also noted the job loss numbers and said that a combined 6,800 lost jobs in November and October helped erase earlier growth and means Ohio had fewer jobs in November than it did in July.
“The new numbers paint a poor picture of Ohio’s job situation,” Ms. Halbert said. “Ohio is struggling to keep pace with 2016 levels of growth, the year with the worst growth rate since the end of the recession, and we continue to fall short of the national average.”
Jobs increased last month by 3,500 in the financial services sector; by 2,700 in manufacturing, and by 100 in mining and logging.
However, construction trades lost 500 jobs; the trade, transportation, and utilities sector lost 5,600 jobs; professional and business services lost 2,700 jobs, education and health services lost 1,900 jobs, and information services lost 100 jobs.