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Ohio Unemployment Rate Falls, Businesses Struggling To Find Workers

construction workers
The construction sector in Ohio gained 1,000 jobs in June.

Ohio’s unemployment rate was down slightly in June. It was an even 4% last month compared to 4.1% in May. Companies in Ohio have jobs that are going unfilled right now.

The number of unemployed Ohioans has decreased by 31,000 during the past year. In fact, Keith Lake with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce says it’s now to the point that some businesses are having difficulty finding people to hire.

“We’ve got member companies across the state who tell me, when we talk to them, that one of their biggest concerns continues to be workforce and lots of them are having difficulty filling job openings," Lake says.

Employers have said they’re having to compete for good workers. They say they can’t find candidates who have the right skills or who can pass drug tests. Though Ohio’s jobless rate has fallen for the last five months, it’s still higher than the national rate of 3.7%.

The state Job and Family Services Department says Ohio's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 1,500 jobs from May to June.

The agency reports losses in financial activities; trade, transportation and utilities; educational and health services; and leisure and hospitality slightly exceeded gains in professional and business services; other services; and information.

The construction sector, meanwhile, gained 1,000 jobs in June while manufacturing lost 400 jobs.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.