Cincinnati, Hamilton County and Greater Cincinnati experienced dramatic drops in the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate between January and February, according to new data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
In Cincinnati, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent in February, down from 8.6 percent in January. The civilian labor force, which measures the amount of people working and seeking jobs, also dropped, from 139,400 to 138,900, which means fewer people were looking for work. But the amount of people employed rose from 127,400 to 128,600, while the amount of people unemployed dropped from 12,000 to 10,300.
Michael Jones, research director at the University of Cincinnati Economics Center, says the report was encouraging and consistent with the past few years’ trends.
“We’ve seen a lot of activity in the Cincinnati area,” Jones says. “We know a few companies have been actively growing their businesses.”
Jones says looking at employment numbers is a much better way to gauge economic health than looking at the size of the civilian labor force. While employment purely measures job growth, the civilian labor force can be driven by demographic changes — including an aging, retiring population — and people going back to school full-time, according to Jones.
Jones says Cincinnati and Ohio are poised to continue strong growth: “We have a strong health care sector. As health care continues to be an important component of our economy, … Cincinnati is very well positioned to capture that growth.”
State and federal numbers are typically adjusted to account for seasonal employment patterns, while local numbers are not.