Legislative Budget Office of the Legislative Service Commission
The Ohio Economy
Ohio’s economy added a seasonally adjusted 45,500 nonfarm payroll jobs in August, and
the state unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point, to 8.9%. States with the highest
unemployment rates during the month were Nevada (13.2%) and Rhode Island (12.8%). The
states with the lowest unemployment rates during the month were Nebraska (4.0%) and Utah
the decrease occurred in the months immediately following the initial rollback of COVID-19
4.1%). Ohio’s unemployment rate has declined from a high of 17.6% in April, though much of
lockdown orders. Chart 6 displays Ohio’s unemployment rate.
Nonfarm payroll employment in Ohio increased across a range of industries in August.
Among private sector industries, the most job gains were measured in educational and health
services (+12,300), professional and business services (+7,500), and trade, transportation, and
utilities (+6,800). The seasonally adjusted number of manufacturing jobs increased by 4,500, with
gains almost evenly split between durable goods (+2,300) and nondurable goods (+2,200)
segments. Total job gains in the private sector in August were 37,700. Payroll employment by the
federal government in Ohio increased by 8,200 in August, likely due to a rise in the number of
temporary Census workers. Chart 5 shows Ohio nonfarm payroll employment.21
Ohio’s real GDP fell at a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 33.0% during the second
quarter of 2020, according to new data released by the BEA; the rate of contraction among all
states in the Great Lakes region was 32.8%. Among industries, reductions in activity in durable
goods manufacturing and in health care and social assistance had the greatest impact on the
measured decrease in Ohio’s GDP. Shutdowns in response to the health crisis brought about
economic strain across the nation, as real GDP contracted at more than a 21% rate in each state.23
The personal income (PI) of Ohioans increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
7.8% during the second quarter of 2020, an increase in total personal income that ranked 20
among states. During the first quarter of this year, PI grew at a rate of 3.6%. During the second
quarter, net earnings, equal to worker compensation plus proprietors’ income minus
government social insurance taxes, plummeted at a 28.3% rate, while income from dividends,
interest earnings from financial holdings, and rent payments decreased at an 8.5% rate.
Unemployment compensation and other transfer payments soared, accounting for the overall
increase in PI.
Earlier this year, Opportunity Insights, a consortium of businesses, nonprofits, and
academic institutions, began collaborating to publish select indicators of economic recovery from
the recent economic contraction. In the week ending September 25, the number of job postings
21 During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services produced a
county-level count of job-posting trends by occupation and employer. The County Job Trends Report is
available on the Department’s website at: ohiolmi.com/Home/COVID-19.
22 States in the Great Lakes region are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
23 The annual rate of GDP change was 20.4% in the District of Columbia.
24 Personal income is direct income from wages and salaries, rental income, business income,
income received from ownership of financial assets, and government transfers.
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