Economist: State jobless numbers lag national improvement
While the state unemployment numbers for the third week of June are slightly improved, they are still more unfavorable than the lower and clearly favorable national new unemployment claims this week.
Cleveland economic researcher George Zeller said, “Ohio’s streak of new unemployment claims showing ‘job growth’ levels of new unemployment claims in Ohio that are not elevated has ended.”
A new streak, six consecutive weeks of “job destruction” elevated levels of new unemployment claims has emerged.
“This of course is an unfavorable development,” said Zeller, a 1967 Salem High School graduate.
In his reports, Zeller uses the benchmark year of 2000 because they are designed to measure the point at which Ohio’s lengthy 2000s recessionary labor market contraction concludes as a result of the end of job destruction, an event that has not occurred.
His data tracks employment losses in Ohio because it is directly associated with payroll earnings losses and also cause declines in other measures of the business cycle, notably revenues generated by tax streams at various levels of government.
The income tax and the sales tax are particularly subject to trends in the business cycle.
Therefore a determination of economic indicators – Job and earnings trends that update the point at which the impact of the 2000s recession finally disappears in Ohio’s labor market – is an extremely important issue, he said.
Zeller explained, “The number of the state’s seven multi-county urban regions having a ‘job growth’ level of new unemployment claims for third week in June increased from two last week to three this week.
“Columbus once again retains Ohio’s highest a ‘job destruction’ elevated level this week.”
Zeller noted that elevated levels of new unemployment claims were observed in 41 of Ohio’s 88 counties the third week of June, an improvement of 10 fewer counties in comparison to last week.
Twelve weeks of data for the second quarter of 2014 are currently available, so those figures for the second quarter are statistically significant and nearly complete.
During the first 12 weeks of the second quarter there was a very substantial and encouraging 16.3 percent decline in new unemployment claims in comparison to the 12th week of the second quarter of 2013.
The data for the first quarter of 2014 measured a 13.6 percent decline.
This was by far the most positive measure in the new data available for the third week of June.
But, for 34 consecutive weeks now, the metro-Columbus area had the highest elevated level of new unemployment claims among large urban regions in the state, he said.
Columbus improved slightly this week but nevertheless retains the highest elevated “job destruction” level of new unemployment claims among Ohio urban regions, at 58.7 percent above 1999 and 51.7 percent above 2000.
The Youngstown-Warren data improved somewhat this week, Zeller said, adding that the Youngstown-Warren’s current level is this week’s lowest and best “job growth” reading among the seven Ohio multi-county urban regions.
Youngstown-Warren has now been at a favorable “job growth” level of new unemployment claims during 113 of the last 150 weeks.
The statewide level of new unemployment claims is currently 7,990, a figure that is 6.1 percent above the 7,533 what Ohio had during the third week of June in 1999.
The latest unfavorable level extends an Ohio streak to six consecutive weeks with a “job destruction” level of new unemployment claims.
The Ohio counties of metro Cincinnati, Canton, and Cleveland-Akron-Lorain-Elyria also have elevated “job destruction” levels this week, with Youngstown-Warren, Dayton- Springfield, and Toledo achieving reaching a “job growth” level that is not elevated this week, Zeller said.
The Ohio counties of metro Cincinnati deteriorated slightly this week and retain Ohio’s second highest “job destruction” elevated level of new unemployment claims at 61.5 percent above 1999 and 31.7 percent above 2000, Zeller explained.
The Canton area deteriorated slightly this week and rose to Ohio’s third highest level of new unemployment claims that is 20.1 percent above 1999 and 11.2 percent above 2000.
The Cleveland-Akron-Lorain-Elyria improved slightly this week and fell to the fourth highest current “job destruction” level of new unemployment claims at 14.3 percent above 1999 and 13.3 percent above 2000. Toledo data improved slightly this week, with its current elevated level of 1.9 percent below 1999 but still 5.5 percent above 2000 and it is Ohio’s fifth highest elevated level.
Dayton-Springfield improved this week and moved to Ohio’s sixth highest level of new unemployment claims at -5.6 percent below 1999 but still 24.1 percent above 2000, a “job growth” level.
This latest data is no longer impacted by the winter or summer distortions, he said.