Private Sector Job Growth Stalls, Labor Force Shrinks

The August 2012 Ohio by the Numbers report hows that several recent months of solid private sector job growth hit a snag in August. According to preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Ohio’s private sector lost 2,900 jobs, freezing the state’s ranking at 13 for the fastest growing private sector since January 2010.

Overall, 2012 has seen reasonable private sector job growth numbers with nearly 96,000 created since January.

Ohio’s unemployment rate remained at 7.2 percent in August, which is nearly a full percent below the national average of 8.1 percent. However, the fact that Ohio’s labor force shrunk by 19,100 in August constitutes a significant cause for concern. This represents the third month in a row that the labor force has gotten smaller in Ohio. In fact, it has shrunk by 59,900 since May while the total number of private sector jobs created over that time span was only 34,800.

Overall highlights from the report:
  • Ohio lost 2,900 private sector jobs in June while gaining 900 government jobs;
  • Ohio remains 13th nationally in terms of private sector job growth since January 2010, growing at a 4.7 percent rate;
  • Ohio currently ranks 46th for private sector job growth since January of 1990, growing at 7.3 percent (top ranked Nevada grew 83.5 percent over the same time span).
  • Within individual industry sectors, Leisure and Hospitality finally joined Professional and Business Services and Education and Health Services as the only sectors to have more people employed in them today than in either 1990 or 2000.

    The report shows that Forced Union states (which includes Ohio and most of its neighbors with the recent exception of Indiana, which became a worker freedom state in February) had a private sector growth rate far below Worker Freedom states. Since 1990, Worker Freedom states’ private sector jobs grew at a 36 percent rate vs. only 13 percent for Forced Union states (12.3 million vs. 7.8 million).

    Even during the decade from 2000-2010, which included the tech bubble burst of 2000 and the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009, Worker Freedom states gained jobs for a minimal growth of around 0.1 percent while Forced Union states lost 5 percent. Since 2010, Worker Freedom states also outperformed Forced Union states, growing at a 4.6 percent rate vs. 3.8 percent.

    To view the full report, please click here.

    Ohio by the Numbers compares Ohio to other states in overall private sector job growth over several distinct time spans. The periods analyzed are: from 1990 until the present day, from peak employment in 2000 through the present day and from the beginning of the current decade to the present day.

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