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Ohio unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent in May

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Manufacturing, state gov't, utilities saw the greatest gains last month

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio's unemployment continues to drop, according to the latest data from the state.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported on Friday morning that unemployment fell to 5.5 percent in May, down from 6.1 in April. Approximately 317,000 Ohio workers were unemployed in May, down 11,000 from April.

The manufacturing (+2,900), state government (+1,700), and transportation and utilities (+1,300) sectors saw the greatest number of gains last month, while construction (-3,600) and local government (-1,600) saw the greatest losses.

The number of unemployed has decreased by 108,000 in the past 12 months. It's the state's lowest jobless rate since February 2008.

Ohio's rate remains below the national rate, which was 6.3 percent in May, unchanged from April.

Ohio's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 2,900 over the month, from a revised 5,295,400 in April to 5,298,300 in May, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.

Employment in goods-producing industries, at 874,300, decreased 600 from April. Construction lost 3,600 jobs. Manufacturing and mining and logging gained 2,900 and 100 jobs respectively. The private service-providing sector, at 3,669,600, increased 3,600. Job gains were seen in professional and business services (+6,000), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,300), other services (+900), financial activities (+400), and information (+200) while employment declines occurred in leisure and hospitality (-4,300) and educational and health services (-900). Government employment, at 754,400, lost 100 jobs. Losses in local (-1,600) and federal (-200) government surpassed gains in state government (+1,700).

From May 2013 to May 2014, nonagricultural wage and salary employment grew 46,800. Goods-producing industries added 15,200 jobs. Manufacturing gained 11,700 jobs in durable goods (+11,800) although non-durable goods (-100) posted a small loss. Construction added 2,800 jobs. Mining and logging employment increased 700. The private service-providing sector increased 35,000. The most significant gain occurred in professional and business services (+20,100). Also showing improvement were trade, transportation, and utilities (+6,900), educational and health services (+5,300), other services (+5,100), and leisure and hospitality (+2,600). Over-the-year declines occurred in financial activities (-4,200) and information (-800). Government employment decreased 3,400. Losses in local (-2,600) and federal (-900) government exceeded a small gain in state government (+100).

Z. Daniel Barnett

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