Unemployment

Kirk Schuring
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A controversial bill intended to shore up the fund the state uses to pay unemployment benefits might be moving forward soon. The bill’s sponsor says it’s a high wire act between labor and business groups.

The plan would require employers to pay more into the unemployment compensation fund while also requiring some buy-in from workers. This is all an attempt to bring the fund to solvency ahead of any impending recession.

photo of unemployment office
BURT LUM / FLICKR

After several months of holding steady, the state’s jobless rate has climbed to its highest level in nearly three years. 

The unemployment rate for August ticked up two tenths of a point to 5.4 percent, its highest rate since September 2014. Bret Crow speaks for the state department of Job and Family Services.

“Ohio’s unemployment rate did inch up a bit in August, but the good news is the state added more than 5,000 jobs – 5,200 to be exact," Crow says.

Rep. Kirk Schuring
Karen Kasler / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Talks are continuing on a bill to overhaul the fund set up to pay unemployment benefits to laid off workers. 

Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring of Canton says meetings between business and labor groups on shoring up the unemployment fund have been going on since January, and have been "harmonious. " He says they’ve hired an actuary to answer some key questions.

“The purpose of this exercise is to put a dollar amount on all the proposals,” Schuring says. 

photo of Cliff Rosenberger and Kirk Schuring
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio House of Representatives is calling for a temporary measure to deal with the state’s flagging unemployment compensation fund.

The new plan would freeze increases to employee benefits for two years and slightly hike taxes for employers.

Republican House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger calls this a stopgap and a show of good faith that all parties are willing to make some sacrifices in order to overhaul the system.

photo of help wanted sign
SHUTTERSTOCK

Ohio’s jobless rate ticked up slightly last month. 

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reports September’s jobless rate was 4.8 percent, up a 0.1 percent from August.  

Government, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and the health-care industries lost more than 3,000 jobs, but around the same number were added in the finance sector.

But even with the uptick, Ohio’s jobless rate remains below the nation’s unemployment rate of 5 percent, and a full point above its all-time low from April 2001.

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