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Fact Check Friday: Are Ohio job numbers getting better?

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Posted at 11:07 AM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 11:07:24-04

The May jobs report for Ohio is out, and some worry the pandemic recovery is stalling.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reports that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went up from 4.7% to 5% in April, with 14,800 fewer jobs in May than the month before.

Michael Shields from Policy Matters Ohio said in a news release that Ohio has had low job numbers since November.

"May's job numbers take Ohio below where we were in November 2020, when Ohio had 5,292,300 jobs. That means no progress toward recovery in six months,” Shields said. "Ohio's recovery has slowed to a crawl, leaving out hundreds of thousands of Ohioans.”

Tom Betti with Ohio Job and Family Services said he feels positive about the state’s outlook on jobs.

"Overall, our outlook hasn't changed," Betti said. "We expect there to be gains and losses month to month, but the overall trend remains positive. We believe the economy is slowly strengthening, and the job market is improving.”

Betti thinks the factors influencing the shifts this month are supply chain shortages, like computer chips impacting business. Also, the market is tight and increasing wages may make some people more willing to quit a job to look for one.

In the Tri-State, the numbers show a 4.3% unemployment rate, which is a little more than April, but an overall month-to-month gain.

Hard-hit industries like leisure and hospitality have seen gains as high as 8,300 jobs in the state.