Jobless Rate Declines in Columbus

Jobless Rate Declines in Columbus

Possible good news for workers—as well as potential workers—interested in the Columbus job market: the local unemployment rate has been declining for two months in a row.

According to the Department of Job and Family Services, during the month of September the rate went down to 8.2%, down from the previous month’s 8.8%. It’s not a lot, but it’s a definite improvement; and with two months of such news, perhaps it will continue into significant amounts soon. And these aren’t adjusted for season, either.

It’s still quite higher than last year’s rate of 5.8%, but any improvement is a good sign. And the city isn’t alone; across the state, unemployment rates went down from 10.8% to 10.1%.

Even with the drop, job losses continue. Some officials say the drop is actually because workers are simply giving up on the hunt for a job and resigning themselves to unemployment. Number of total employed people fell from 641,000 to 594,000.

To combat this problem, the city has been awarded a tax credit to bring in more jobs—but 140 is far from the number of jobs needed.

Perhaps as another measure to stabilize the economy, the city is also considering a proposal to allow casino business within its limits—along with several other cities. Though the measure may help the economy, some argue that much of the four potential casinos’ revenue would not be taxable, and therefore not such a boon for the city.

Still, potential jobs are jobs. The casino has promised to keep 90% of its employees from the Columbus employee pool, after all. In addition to that, backers of the bill claim that it would result in $585 million annually for the cities. However, those monies would be put toward current state programs such as the government and school, not necessarily struggling families.

Though many citizens oppose the casinos and the possible debts and problems they could cause, many believe that the promise of about 34,000 new area jobs will lure voters in to pass the measure at the voting booth.

Still other jobs may be available in the area’s renewable energy businesses, particularly in the solar department. The Business Development Coalition insists that the solar energy growth presents an opportunity for the creation of many jobs in the future.

Tune in for the state’s full unemployment statistics, which are set to be released on November 20.