Ohio Reports 10.9% Unemployment Rate

January 22, 2010

President Obama held his second town hall meeting in a Cleveland suburb today as part of his “White House to Main Street” tour to discuss the economy, jobs and health care. It’s perfect timing, reports Crain’s Cleveland Business, since the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported today that the state’s unemployment rate rose from 10.6 percent in November to 10.9 percent in December. In December 2008, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent:

Nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased 16,700 over the month, to 5,086,900 in December from 5,103,600 in November.

“Ohio’s labor market weakened in December,” said Douglas Lumpkin, the department’s director, in a statement. Unlike in most months, when manufacturing gets hammered, job losses in service industries led to the increase in the unemployment rate, he said.

Service-providing industries, at 4,284,500 jobs in December, dropped 16,800 from the previous month, according to the department’s data.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in December was 641,000, up from 624,000 in November and from 445,000 in December 2008. The U.S. unemployment rate for December was 10%, unchanged from November.

A recent report from Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge underscores the significance of a state’s tax system when it comes to economic growth. Between 1993 and 2008, the state lost 231,000 taxpayers and $19 billion in adjusted gross income. Ohio has the seventh-highest state and local tax burden in the country, with taxes having consumed 10.4 percent of the state’s income in 2008 — higher than any of its neighbors. The state also has one of the worst business tax climates in the nation, ranking 47th in the Tax Foundation’s 2010 State Business Tax Climate Index.

Read Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 207, “Ohio’s Poor Tax Climate at the Heart of the State’s Economic and Fiscal Woes.” More on Ohio.

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