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Ohio’s jobs picture improving

By Carl Horst

Ohio’s unemployment rate declined for the ninth consecutive month in April, dipping to its lowest level since 2008.

The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent last month, a slight improvement from the March level of 7.5 percent.

During the past year, Ohio has experienced a 1.4 percent decline in unemployment, dropping from 8.8 percent in April 2011 to the current 7.4 percent according to figures released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We still have a ways to go on our road to recovery from the recession, with far too many of our fellow Ohioans still looking for work,” notes Robert U. Miller, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS. “But when you consider where we were — with unemployment topping 10.5 percent just a few years ago — you can’t help but be encouraged by the steady uptick in hiring. We remain hopeful that we’ll continue this momentum going forward.”

Ohio’s 1.4 percent decline in unemployment translates to more than 47,200 jobs added to payrolls over the past year, placing Ohio as eighth best in the nation in terms of job gains (behind Texas, California, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Florida and Arizona). The number of unemployed Ohioans has fallen by 79,000 over the past year.

Calculated Risk, a leading economic blog, notes that 37 states posted lower unemployment results in April. The site offers an interesting graph showing that all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) have posted job gains from the peak of the 2007 recession:

Only three states still have double digit unemployment rates: Nevada, Rhode Island, and California. This is the fewest since January 2009. In early 2010, 18 states and D.C. had double digit unemployment rates.

The states with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate are Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio and Oregon. The states with the smallest improvement are New Jersey and New York.

Tags: economy, news