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Research analyst: Economic numbers ‘clearly negative’

September 9, 2013
By LARRY SHIELDS - Staff Writer ( , Salem News

SALEM - Economic research analyst George Zeller said the economic numbers for Ohio "were clearly negative" last week.

Zeller, who works out of Cleveland, is a 1967 Salem High School graduate and writes weekly on the state's economic outlook.

His reports are designed to measure the point at which Ohio's lengthy 2000s' recessionary contraction in its labor market concludes as a result of the end-of-job destruction within the state.

Zeller said the nation's performance last week was "mostly favorable" and better than the Ohio data. An August seasonal distortion returned Ohio to a "job destruction" level of new unemployment claims.

Zeller explained, "An additional period of distortion appears every year during the model changeover period in the automobile industry.

"That distortion finally ended in last week's and this week's updated data. As a result, Ohio returned to an elevated 'job destruction' level of new unemployment claims this week for the second consecutive week."

Across 62 of Ohio's 88 counties elevated "job destruction" readings were recorded, an increase of nine counties in comparison to last week, Zeller said.

He noted that at the same time, 26 Ohio counties reached a more favorable "job growth" low level of new unemployment claims this week.

"The clearly deteriorating Ohio data this week compare unfavorably to more positive data released for the entire USA released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics," Zeller said. He noted the agency reported that the nation's four week moving average of new unemployment claims decreased by 2,750 this week to 328,500.

That kept the country below the 400,000 level that is normally considered the borderline between recessionary job losses and recovery job growth.

It also kept the current national figure at a point below the 350,000 level that signals a weakening economy, he said.

The improving data for the week ending Aug. 3 ended a streak of 23 consecutive weeks when Ohio a "job destruction" elevated level of new unemployment claims.

Zeller pointed out that of the seven urban regions, six remain at an elevated "job destruction" level of new unemployment claims this week: Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton-Springfield, Cleveland-Akron-Lorain-Elyria, Canton, and Toledo.

The data was far better in Ohio's large urban region, he said with Youngstown-Warren showing "job growth" levels of new unemployment claims that were not elevated. Youngstown-Warren is the only Ohio urban region with that favorable level for this past week, he said.

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