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Ohio's Jobless Rate Drops to 16-Year Low

photo of help wanted sign
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s unemployment rate has dropped again, to a level not seen in 16 years.

The state’s jobless rate for April dropped to 4.3 percent, which is the lowest level since July 2001, when it was a tenth of a point lower. That edges the state closer to the national employment rate of 3.9 percent.

Northeast Ohio economist George Zeller says the latest numbers show more job growth in Ohio in the first four months of this year than in all of 2017, which was the weakest job growth year since the Great Recession.

But he says one thing hasn’t changed – that the state’s job growth rate is still below the national level, which has been going on for more than five years.  And he’s very concerned about May’s numbers, which will reflect mass layoffs planned at the General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.