Morning briefing – Dec. 3


Staff report



* Ohio’s employment growth was robust in October, with the private sector adding 36,300 new jobs—the largest one-month jump in more than 17 years. The unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, the lowest level in more than 14 years.

“These numbers warrant cautious optimism,” says Joe Nichols, the William & Helen Diehl Energy and Transparency Fellow at The Buckeye Institute. “The October report is encouraging, of course, but will only be meaningful if it indicates a larger trend, which has failed to materialize so far in 2015.”

Key results:

Unemployment rate. The jobless rate fell to 4.4% in October, down from 4.5% a month earlier and 5.2% a year earlier.

Total job growth. Ohio added 30,800 total jobs compared to the previous month (seasonally adjusted) and 77,400 jobs from a year earlier.

Private job growth. Ohio added 36,300 private sector jobs from the previous month and 78,500 jobs from a year earlier.

Government job loss. Federal, state, and local governments lost 5,500 jobs from the previous month and 1,100 from a year earlier.

Labor force participation rate. The percentage of working-age Ohioans who have a job or are looking for work rose to 62.3% in October, up from 62.2% a month earlier.

Nationally, based on this new report, Ohio moved up the rankings of private sector job growth since 1990, surpassing Illinois to move into 46th position among the states. The low position is a reflection of poor long-term job growth, notwithstanding October’s encouraging numbers.

Overall, Ohio had a total of 5,427,200 workers holding jobs that paid wages or salaries in October, according to federal data. Job growth by sector in October:

Winners

Construction. The industry added 5,800 jobs, up 3.0%.

Leisure & Hospitality. The sector gained 7,000 jobs, a 1.3% gain.

Losers

Government. Government employment shrank by 5,500, a 0.7% drop.

Mining & Logging. Although the sector (which includes oil and gas) employed only 100 fewer people, this represented a loss of 0.7% of its workforce.

* On Monday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) joined U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) in urging President Obama to award African-American journalist Simeon Booker the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honor bestowed by the President of the United States – for his pioneering achievements in the field of journalism and his work to advance the civil rights movement.

“By overcoming adversity, Simeon Booker became not only a trailblazer in his field, but also a role model for generations to come,” Portman stated. “He devoted his life’s work to chronicling the history of the civil rights movement in America and is very deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

“Simeon Booker surely deserves this prestigious award. Throughout his long and illustrious career, Booker risked his own safety to bring groundbreaking coverage of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War to the American people, and in doing so forever changed our nation for the better. Simeon Booker has devoted his life’s work to breaking barriers and changing the hearts and minds of all those he touched through his writing. He is a true American hero,” said Ryan.

* On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, announced that his Career Ready Act of 2015 is included in the final Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Portman’s bill will help ensure students are college and career-ready by strengthening school counseling programs and encouraging states to keep track of career readiness factors implemented in school districts. He authored this bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.). The Senate is expected to vote on ESSA next week.

“While much focus is given to traditional college preparation, career readiness programs are also critical to help Ohio students obtain a job in a high-demand career field,” Portman said. “Our bill will encourage states to highlight these opportunities and to better prepare students for jobs in the 21st century. I’m pleased my provisions have been included in the final education bill and I urge my colleagues to pass it quickly.”

The Career Ready Act of 2015 amends the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act (ESEA) to encourage states to keep track of school districts’ use of “career readiness indicators,” which are factors that demonstrate a student’s preparedness for postsecondary education and the workforce, such as CTE course completion and the number of students earning postsecondary credentials while in high school. Currently, all 50 states track districts’ efforts to instill academic knowledge for college preparation, but less than half of states publicly report on career readiness indicators. By tracking and publishing this data, businesses and workforce leaders will be better-informed about the level of career preparation in a given state or region. Additionally, the bill amends the current Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant program to fund professional development for school counselors and train them to use information on the workforce needs of the local community to help guide students toward in-demand career paths.

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Staff report

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