Legislative Budget Office of the Legislative Service Commission
The Ohio Economy
Ohio’s economy added a seasonally adjusted 29,400 nonfarm payroll jobs in November,
a 0.6% increase in jobs from the previous month. During the month, employment losses in
manufacturing (-2,000, -0.3%) and other (miscellaneous) services (-1,600, -0.8%) were more
than offset by seasonally adjusted gains in leisure and hospitality (+11,300, +2.6%), professional
and business services (+7,400, +1.1%), and health care and social assistance (+5,000, +0.6%).
Year over year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in both the goods-producing
(-41,900, -4.5%) and service-providing (-294,400, -6.3%) sectors. As of November, the Ohio
private industries that shed the greatest percentage of their November 2019 workforces were
leisure and hospitality (-20.3%), educational services (-13.4%), mining and logging (-13.0%), and
real estate and rental and leasing (-11.1%). Between November 2019 and November 2020,
employment by government entities declined at all levels, with the number of job holders in
federal (-1.7%), state (-14.2%), and local (-4.2%) governments all notably down in Ohio. Chart 6
displays nonfarm employment totals nationally and in Ohio over the past several years.
Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined from October to November,
when it was 5.7%. Chart 7 displays the state’s unemployment rate. The number of initial
unemployment claims during the final full week of 2020 was 81% greater than in the
year-earlier week but 89% below this year’s peak weekly number of initial claims. In the prior
week, Ohio registered 153,423 continued unemployment insurance claims, 148% above the
number of continued claims during the year-earlier week of 2019.19
It should be noted that the Census Bureau’s survey of establishments, which provide the
primary data for state employment counts, is conducted for the pay period that includes the
2 of each month. As a result, Ohio’s employment data do not reflect observance of additional
COVID-19 restrictions between that period and the date of this publication.
According to recently released quarterly data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis
BEA), Ohio’s real GDP increased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 8.2% in the third quarter of
changes not annualized). During the third quarter, Ohio’s real GDP growth ranked 14 in the
020, after decreases in real GDP in the first (-1.4%) and second (-9.5%) quarters (percent
nation; growth in other Great Lakes states, such as Michigan (third), Indiana (fifth), and
Wisconsin (ninth) also was relatively rapid. On an annualized rate basis, GDP growth increased
rapidly in every state during the quarter, with growth rates ranging from 19.4% (Wyoming) to
The number of small businesses operating in Ohio decreased during 2020. Womply, an
integrated business platform for small businesses, reports Ohio-specific data on small business
conditions.2 The number of Ohio small businesses having at least one transaction in the last
19 Initial claims measure how many new applicants filed for unemployment benefits during the
week; continued claims measure how many persons filed to continue receiving unemployment benefits.
Data are provided to the Department of Labor by the ODJFS.
20 The following states are included in BEA’s definition of the Great Lakes region: Illinois, Indiana,
Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
21 Data according to Track the Recovery Project: https://tracktherecovery.org/. Small businesses
are defined as those with under 100 or 150 employees, with the threshold varying by industry.
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