(The Center Square) – Ohio continues to rank among the states in recovering unemployment as the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent study.
Ohio ranked 27th in the country in the study by WalletHub, a personal finance website that used five key metrics to compare unemployment figures from July to specific dates in 2019 and 2020.
“Ohio is in the middle of the pack in terms of the unemployment rate recovery. There were still over 12% more unemployed in July 2021 compared to pre-January 2020 pandemic levels, but this is one of the smallest differences in the country, ”WalletHub analyst said Jill Gonzalez. “The overall unemployment rate in Ohio is 5.4%, which is exactly the level of the national average.”
The study shows that Ohio’s current rate is 23.5% higher than July 2019 and 12.4% higher than January 2020. The state’s unemployment rate of 5.4% in July was higher than the 5.2% for June.
Robert Gitter, a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University, said time and knowledge of viruses should allow the state to make better economic decisions.
“Decisions had to be made quickly in March because we knew so little. Now we have to open the economy with caution using common sense, ”Gitter said. “I agree with most lockdowns, but did landscaping need to be locked in some states? We know more about the spread of the virus and have time to make more informed judgments. “
The July employment report from the Ohio Department of Employment and Family showed a slight increase in unemployment and an increase in job creation in the private sector. The 21,300 new private sector jobs are the highest in Ohio since January, and the hotel and restaurant industry – one of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic – created 8,000 jobs.
Manufacturing created 2,100 jobs and construction added 700.
It was good news, political experts said, but more is needed.
“Overall, Ohio’s private sector has created 50,000 jobs this year, including more than 40,000 in the past two months alone,” said Rea Hederman Jr., executive director of the Center for Economic Research of the United States. Buckeye Institute and Vice President of Policy. . “Simply put, more and more Ohioans are working and the number of new jobs is increasing. Despite the positive report, Ohio needs to create nearly 250,000 private sector jobs to return to pre-pandemic levels, and unless job creation picks up in the second half of 2021, the Ohio is still a long way from a full recovery. “
The states with the best recovery, according to the WalletHub report, were Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, and Alabama. The states with the worst recovery were Hawaii, Nevada, California, New York and Colorado.