COLUMBUS — Ohio’s unemployment rate has dropped for the ninth month in a row, a trend that continues to place the state below the national rate, officials said Friday.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said that seasonally adjusted joblessness inched downward from 7.5 percent in March to 7.4 percent in April, while the state’s non-farm payrolls shrank by 3,400.
The state’s unemployment rate continues to remain below the national rate, which was 8.1 percent in April. That’s down from 8.2 percent in March.
The number of unemployed workers in Ohio decreased by 7,000 in April to 431,000, down from 438,000 in March. That means over the past year, the number of unemployed Ohio workers dropped by 79,000, from a starting total of 510,000.
Department spokesman Ben Johnson said the state’s unemployment rate, which is determined by data collected through a household survey and employer payroll survey, did not see a lot of movement in April. But he hopes Ohioans will look at the state’s economic growth over the past several months.
“Hopefully by stepping back, you get a better picture of the economy,” he said. “The economy is getting better, but it’s happening slowly.”
The state saw gains of about 2,900 jobs in government, 1,900 in professional and business services and 1,500 in education and health services.
But jobs in service-providing industries decreased by 2,000 over the month to 4.3 million jobs. And there were job losses in industries like trade, transportation, leisure and hospitality, and financial activities.
Manufacturing has been helping to drive recovery in Ohio, but that sector lost 1,400 jobs last month. Mining and logging and construction were unchanged.
Johnson said the data continues to show the state is headed in the right direction.
“We don’t do a lot of forecasting, but we do believe the economy will continue to slowly improve in 2012,” he said.