Job growth stagnant in Ohio, but many positions still unfilled

Ohio lost about 2,100 jobs last year

Job Fair, Unemployment Generic

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The latest jobs report shows 2016 was the worst year for job growth in Ohio since the end of the recession. And so far, 2017 isn’t off to a good start.

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the state lost about 2,100 jobs last year. The biggest losses were in education and health care.

Mary Ann Kochalko from Ohio Means Jobs says those statistics can be a little misleading. Right now on their website, there are about 8,000 job postings. But the number of postings doesn’t always reflect the number of openings.

“We’ve heard there is a decline in health care but we are still seeing a lot of openings, locally,” Kochalko said. “We are seeing a lot of manufacturing positions opening, locally – skilled trades,entry level.”

Social service jobs are also on the rise too, locally. But statewide registered nurses, customer service and office clerks are the top three for annual job openings.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in January, which typical as seasonal holiday jobs are no longer needed. But in the past few weeks, several local retailers announced they are closing their doors.

Macy’s and Sears at the Shenango Valley Mall are closing. Radio Shack and Family Christian Stores also announced they will shutter their businesses.

Kochalko says being flexible in a sluggish job market is key to finding a position.

“Think about your skills and where you might be able to take those skills,” Kochalko said.

Ohio Means Jobs does offer workshops and online resources to help with your job search.

The top in-demand jobs in the state are registered nurses, customer service representatives and office clerks.

As spring approaches, you can expect to see a lot of openings for seasonal work like landscapers and construction.

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