COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s unemployment rate remained at 7 percent last month, according to state numbers released Friday, and it’s still well below the national average.
The seasonally adjusted rate hasn’t moved much since the beginning of the year. Starting the year at 7 percent, it briefly rose to 7.1 percent for February and March, then dropped to 7 percent again for April. There it stayed last month, according to the data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Ohio leaders have said repeatedly that the state’s economy and its job market are getting stronger, but the process will be slow.
The state’s unemployment rate peaked at 10.6 percent during the last half of 2009 and early 2010 before beginning its trek downward. January marked the first time the rate failed to decline or at least remain steady since July 2011.
But the Ohio rate has consistently remained below the national level. The U.S. unemployment rate for May was 7.6 percent.
State officials reported that the number of nonagricultural jobs in Ohio increased 32,100 in May, to 5,213,900.
The number of unemployed workers in Ohio in May was 405,000, up from 400,000 in April. The number of unemployed in the state has decreased by 15,000 in the past year.
Goods-producing industries gained 4,700 jobs in May. Increases were recorded in construction and manufacturing, while employment in mining and logging was unchanged. Private service-providing industries gained 20,200 jobs.