ACE Report: NE Ohio job-creation engine sputtered at the end of 2016

by SCOTT SUTTELL
The end of 2016 was not kind to Northeast Ohio’s job market, according to the latest Ahola Crain’s Employment (ACE) Report.

Seasonally adjusted employment in December for the seven-county area of Cleveland and Akron measured by the report was 1,170,985, a decline of 1,879 jobs from 1,172,864 in November. And November was no great shakes, either; its total job number was just 286 higher than the October figure calculated in the ACE Report.

Jack Kleinhenz, the Cleveland Heights economist who created the ACE Report model, noted in an analysis of the December data that the seasonally adjusted jobs figure for last month “is below its three-month and six-month average and suggests economic activity and job growth has lost some momentum from the faster pace that was evident in prior months.”
But it’s impossible to draw firm conclusions from one subpar month in one statistical category.

Kleinhenz wrote in his analysis, “We are not sure that the regional economy has made a fundamental change, nor has the national economy, since employment is only one gauge that measures economic activity.” He noted, for instance, that a gauge of economic activity created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia rose in Ohio by 2.2% on a year-over-year basis, and recent construction and retail sales data “also show gains.”

Kleinhenz added that “choppy employment” around the end of a calendar year “is not unusual given shifting seasonal hiring patterns. It is typical for the trajectory of monthly employment to be pared significantly back. We expect a similar pattern to take place and recognize that some dampening of the pace of employment gains is projected.”

Kleinhenz wrote in his analysis that regional initial unemployment claims, a factor in the ACE Report model, had been at “historically low levels” but then “kicked up in the middle of December.” Such claims “are usually variable around the holidays because of winter weather, school closures and shifting seasonal hiring patterns,” according to Kleinhenz.

Meanwhile, he wrote, January employment “looks to be a better month based upon a reduction in initial unemployment claims.” Also, he noted that “most measures” of consumer and business sentiment “have shown notable improvement since the November election, raising expectation that economic activity will accelerate at the national and regional levels.”

The national economy “is expected to gain further traction in 2017,” according to Kleinhenz. “Regional growth during 2016 might have been stronger had it not been for weakness in metals production and the energy industry. In addition, the weak global economy and a strong dollar hurt export related firms output and associated employment.”

Despite these developments, he wrote, “the regional outlook (is) promising as national indexes tracking production and new orders in the most recent ISM (Institute for Supply Management) survey rose to levels posted in late-2014.”

Month Non-Farm Small(1-49) Mid-Sized Goods Service
(50+) Producing Producing
June 2016 (act) 1,167,272 475,237 692,035 211,159 956,113
July (est) 1,175,080 478,077 697,003 217,432 957,648
Aug (est) 1,171,211 476,665 694,546 214,391 956,821
Sept (est) 1,169,702 476,139 693,563 212,852 956,851
Oct (est) 1,172,614 477,287 695,327 213,914 958,700
Nov (est) 1,172,864 477,358 695,506 214,400 958,463
Dec (est) 1,170,985 476,588 694,397 214,137 956,848

Recent Month’s Estimated Change
Nov ’16 to Dec ’16 (1,879) (770.15) (1,108) (264) (1,615)
Diff from Dec 2015 1,757 883 874 (2,085) 3,842

Trend
3-month 1,172,154 477,078 695,077 214,150 958,004
6-month 1,172,076 477,019 695,057 214,521 957,555

ACE Report: Jobs drop in September, but outlook is optimistic

For the second straight month, Northeast Ohio registered a decline in the size of its payrolls, as calculated in the Ahola Crain’s Employment (ACE) Report.

In September, seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 1,657 jobs, to 1,172,402 last month from 1,174,059 in August, according to the ACE Report data. That followed a decrease of more than 3,600 jobs from July to August.

Both goods-producing and service-producing companies in Northeast Ohio shed jobs in September, the ACE Report found. Payrolls related to goods production fell by 1,539, and service-related regional payrolls fell 118.

September’s payroll number of 1,172,402 was below the region’s three-month (1,174,728) and six-month (1,174,286) averages, according to the ACE Report data.

However, Jack Kleinhenz, the Cleveland Heights economist who created the ACE Report model, noted that employment in Northeast Ohio “continues to remain in positive territory for the year, as there were 6,012 more jobs in the seven-county Cleveland/Akron region than the (like) month a year ago.”

Kleinhenz said in an analysis of the most recent data that there are “a lot of moving parts impacting Northeast Ohio economic activity, including seasonal forces in August and September, thus making it difficult to infer that slower growth is ahead.”

He noted that while employment measures “are important, they leave out other key information (that is) included in other economic series.”

For instance, Kleinhenz said he keeps a close eye on a “coincident economic index” produced for each state by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The index includes four factors: employment; average hours worked in manufacturing by production workers; the unemployment rate; and wage and salaries incorporating employment.

In August, he said, the coincident index for Ohio increased 0.3%, and it has risen by 3.4% over the past 12 months. These “are favorable figures when compared to the nation’s 0.24% and 3%, respectively,” Kleinhenz said.

He also found reason for optimism in the results of the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index. That index “rebounded strongly in September to 57.1 from 51.4 in August, well above market expectations and its highest reading since October 2015,” Kleinhenz said.

Meanwhile, he said, the ISM manufacturing index rose to 51.5 from 49.4, which “suggests a modest pickup in business activity in September.”

Kleinhenz concluded, “The improvement as measured by these indexes, though a bit uneven, holds out hope that a pickup in economic activity is underway for the remainder of 2017 and should provide the basis for future payroll gains for the Northeast Ohio region.”

Custom-Chart-1

Seaonally adjusted data

Month Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
Mar-16(actual) 1,175,919   478,541   697,378 215,829 960,090
April (est) 1,171,228   476,564   694,664 215,938 955,290
May (est) 1,175,950   478,462   697,489 217,154 958,796
Jun (est) 1,174,351   477,788   696,562 217,180 957,170
Jul (est) 1,177,724   479,087   698,637 218,863 958,861
Aug (est) 1,174,059   477,748   696,311 216,000 958,059
Sept (est) 1,172,402   477,160   695,242 214,460 957,941

Recent Month’s Estimated Change

Date Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
Aug ’16 to Sept ’16 (1,657)   (588)   (1,069) (1,539) (118)
Diff from Sept 2015 6,012   2,592   3,420 (980) 6,992

Trend

Date Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
3-month 1,174,728   477,998   696,730 216,441 958,287
6-month 1,174,286   477,802   696,484 216,599 957,686

ACE Report: Region’s jobs drop in August, but increase year-over-year

The monthly tally of Northeast Ohio private payrolls in August continued on its roller coaster of up one month and down the next, with the Ahola Crain’s Employment (ACE) Report showing a decrease of 3,626 jobs from July, a 0.31% decline.

Longer term, though, employment in the seven-county Akron-Cleveland metro area was 8,340 jobs higher in August than a year ago, a 0.71% increase.

“The economy is in its eighth year of economic recovery and still remains in its expansion phase of a payroll cycle,” reported Jack Kleinhenz, the Cleveland Heights economist who created the ACE model. “It has been on a slow path of economic growth, but the labor market continues to maintain momentum.”

Statewide, nonagricultural wage and salary employment grew by 77,000 jobs year-over-year, a 1.35% increase, based on a survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released last Tuesday, Sept. 20 by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

Employment in all 88 Ohio counties decreased by 2,000 positions, from 5,505,400 in July to 5,503,400 in August.

Analyzing the state data, the nonprofit Policy Matters Ohio think tank, which is supported by foundations, community organizations and unions, reported that Ohio’s 12-month job growth rate of 1.35% continues to trail the national average of 1.7%, but it represents an improvement over the pace of job creation since the official start of the last national recession in 2007.

“Ohio needs many more months of five-figure employment growth to close the job gap, so (August’s) losses are disappointing,” said researcher Hannah Halbert in a press release. “However, the August loss is slight, and didn’t come close to wiping out recent gains. That’s an improvement from the earlier trend.”

Although Northeast Ohio and the state posted job losses, Kleinhenz noted that the country posted a less-than-expected gain of 151,000 jobs. CNBC reported that Wall Street economists were expecting the nonfarm payrolls report to show a gain of 180,000 in August.

“This figure still remains above the required gain to keep the unemployment rate moving down on a slow, yet steady, pace,” Kleinhenz said. “It is important to note that as the economy gets closer to its full employment — and we are getting close — finding workers increases in difficulty.”

Kleinhenz cited Bureau of Labor Statistics data that show job openings “rose sharply in July, and the rate of openings was a record high. Meanwhile, the increase in hiring was not as great. Openings have grown faster than hires for nearly every month over the last year and a half.”

Hirings differ from job gains since job gains are net of hirings, firings and employment lost from deaths.

“All in all the data suggest that firms are having a challenging time filling positions but also indicating that workers are moving to jobs that better suit them and their efficiencies,” Kleinhenz reported.

Seaonally adjusted

Ace-Report-Aug
Month Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
Mar-16 1,175,919   478,541   697,378  215,829 960,090
Apr (est) 1,171,007   476,478   694,529  215,846 955,161
May (est) 1,176,132   478,537   697,595  217,167 958,965
Jun (est) 1,174,496   477,833   696,663  217,419 957,077
Jul (est) 1,178,355   479,348   699,007  218,912 959,442
Aug (est) 1,174,729   478,016   696,713  216,188 958,541
Recent Month’s Estimated Change Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
July ’16 to Aug ’16 (3,626)  (1,331.90)  (2,294) (2,724) (902)
Diff from Aug 2015 8,340  3,484  4,856 244 8,096
Trend Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
3-month 1,175,860 478,399 697,461  217,507  958,353
6-month 1,175,106 478,125 696,981  216,894  958,213

September 23, 2016

Photo by COLE GOLDBERG

ACE Report: July jobs growth continues region’s slow, steady path

That 1.03% jump is the fifth increase in the last six months. Since January, the number of people employed in the private sector in the seven counties of the Cleveland metropolitan area has grown by 12,014, to 1,178,449. The only decline was in June, when employment dropped by 1,138 to 1,174,474 jobs.

Jack Kleinhenz, the Cleveland Heights economist who created the ACE model, noted that U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports also indicated that, in July, there are more people joining the workforce and that average hourly earnings and average weekly hours increased as well.

“Consequently, there are more people employed, working longer hours and earning larger pay,” Kleinhenz said.

Kleinhenz said that second-quarter U.S. economic growth was well below expectations, rising at an annualized rate of 1.2%, nearly half the gain anticipated by consensus forecasts. He said growth slowed primarily because of an ongoing slump in business investment and slowdowns globally, especially in the energy sector.

Separately, in a report on the economy of the Cleveland metropolitan area released last Thursday, Aug. 25, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland said employment in the metropolitan area grew by 0.5% for the year ending September 2015, lower than employment growth in the state (1.2%) or the country (2.0%).

The report, by economist Joel Elvery, noted that in the 12 months ended September 2015, three sectors added more than 2,000 jobs: education and health services (2,531 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (2,446); and hospitality (2,364). Two sectors had significant job losses over that 12-month period: professional and business services (2,265) and manufacturing (600).

Elvery attributed the weak employment growth in the Cleveland region relative to the state and country to “sustained population loss. However, population loss slowed greatly in 2013 and 2014. Hopefully, this headwind will fade.”

Looking ahead, another Cleveland Fed economist, senior vice president Mark Schweitzer, said the regional economic outlook is for steady, if modest, growth.

“We’ve had three quarters of relatively weak growth” in the Cleveland Fed’s district, Schweitzer said at a regional economic outlook session on Aug. 18 at the Cleveland Fed. “We’re still expecting things to be better in the coming quarter.”

The Cleveland Fed’s district includes all of Ohio, eastern Kentucky and parts of western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.

Seaonally adjusted

Month Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
Dec 1,169,198   475,677   693,522 216,446 952,753
Jan (est.) 1,166,435   474,565   691,870 215,754 950,681
Feb (est.) 1,168,282   475,385   692,897 215,118 953,164
Mar (est.) 1,168,421   475,440   692,981 215,157 953,264
Apr (est.) 1,170,593   476,314   694,278 215,700 954,893
May (est.) 1,175,612   478,324   697,288 217,094 958,518
June (est.) 1,174,474   477,808   696,666 217,637 956,838
July (est.) 1,178,449   479,380   699,069 219,023 959,426

August 26, 2016

ACE Report: Despite job losses, other signs suggest economic growth

A projected decline of 2,343 jobs in June ended a five-month string of Northeast Ohio job gains, though the loss may only reflect a summertime blip since other indicators suggest job and economic growth, according to data in the latest Ahola Crain’sEmployment (ACE) Report.

Also, the month-to-month, 0.02%, drop in seasonally adjusted employment for the seven-county Akron-Cleveland region, is balanced against a year-over-year gain of 6,249 jobs, a 0.54% increase from June 2015 to June 2016.

“It’s hard to gauge whether or not the expected pullback in payrolls point to a sea change in regional economic activity,” said Jack Kleinhenz, the Cleveland Heights economist who created the ACE model. “Payroll growth has been choppy.  A similar pattern was evident in 2015 as payrolls fell off in the summer but then rebounded in the fall.”

Private-sector employment in the metro area dropped 0.22%, or 2,589 jobs, between June 2015 and July 2015, according to the ACE model, before recovering.

The report projects that service producing firms account for about 2,279 lost jobs, while the goods producing sector shows only a loss of about 64 jobs.

Kleinhenz noted that the stronger dollar “has shown to be a significant speed bump for regional, state and U.S. manufacturing exporters and has created a drag on domestic employment, income and spending.”

He said the research office of the Ohio Development Services Agency estimates that Ohio merchandise exports declined 3%, or $50.7 billion, between 2014 and 2015. But, Kleinhenz reported, other indicators of the economy do point in a positive direction.

“Both the Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes showed a pickup in the pace of growth in June and registered expansionary readings for survey’s employment component,” he said. “This bodes well for area income and spending.”

The U.S. manufacturing sector showed strong growth in June according to the latest monthly survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management. Manufacturing supply executives indicated a Purchasing Managers’ Index increase of 1.9%

Of the 18 manufacturing sectors tracked by ISM, 13 reported growth in June led by printing, textiles, petroleum and coal products and food, beverage and tobacco products. The three industries reporting contractions are electrical equipment, appliances and components; transportation equipment; and rubber and plastic products.

Month Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
Dec (actual) 1,169,198    475,677   693,522 216,446 952,753
Jan (est.) 1,165,378    474,177   691,201 214,962 950,416
Feb (est.) 1,167,066    474,922   692,143 214,430 952,635
Mar (est.) 1,167,163    474,950   692,213 214,622 952,541
Apr (est.) 1,169,020    475,698   693,323 215,075 953,945
May (est.) 1,173,765    477,613   696,152 216,172 957,593
June (est) 1,171,422    476,634   694,788 216,108 955,313

 

By

July 29, 2016

RETAIL INDUSTRY SEES BETTER THAN EXPECTED JOB GAINS IN JUNE

Retail industry employment grew by 29,500 jobs in June over May, making up more than 10 percent of the total 287,000-job increase reported today by the Labor Department, according to calculations by the National Retail Federation, which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“The retail sector serves on the front line of the economy.”
Jack Kleinhenz
NRF Chief Economist

“The retail sector serves on the front line of the economy and showed solid job gains that made a strong contribution to the June employment report,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Today’s employment gains punctuate other employment data and indicate that economic activity picked up in the second quarter, which is certainly a positive step going into the second half of the year.”

While the monthly wage data was somewhat disappointing with an increase of only 2 cents per hour following the 6-cent increase in May, the better-than-expected job gains in June help alleviate some concern about the U.S. economy. Average hourly earnings moved in the right direction on a year-over-year basis with an increase of 2.6 percent.

On a three-month moving average, retail jobs as calculated by NRF have increased by 9,700 positions. Since June 2015, the retail industry has increased payrolls by 241,600 jobs.

June’s increase in jobs came even though the unemployment rate increased from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent.

ACE Report: April job numbers spring forward

Northeast Ohio gained 1,874 private-sector jobs in April, part of an uptick in the regional labor market that has seen employment grow by an estimated 3,431 jobs over the last 12 months, as tracked by the Ahola Crain’s Employment Report.

Jack Kleinhenz, the Cleveland Heights economist who created the ACE Report model, said the seasonally adjusted employment numbers suggest some optimism about a rebound in manufacturing employment, which has suffered in recent months.

The 0.12% increase in private-sector employment seen in the ACE analysis is comparable to an increase in the April ADP National Employment Report, which saw a modest increase nationally of 156,000 jobs from March to April. However, manufacturing employment declined nationally, according to the ADP report, while Northeast Ohio manufacturing employment in the seven county Cleveland-Akron area grew by 0.36%.

Longer term, according to the ACE analysis, manufacturing employment gained 1,580 jobs since April 2015, a 0.66% gain. Kleinhenz is optimistic that trend will continue.

“Manufacturing has been in a significant swoon that dates back to late 2014,” he said. “However, based on this month’s estimates, manufacturing employment is headed for at least a temporary improvement in the months ahead.”

Both the ACE and ADP data are derived from payroll data of client companies served, nationally by ADP LLC and regionally by The Ahola Corp., a Brecksville payroll and human services firm.

The economists at PNC Financial Services Group Inc., report in their second-quarter Northeast Ohio Market Outlook that manufacturing employment in its Northeast Ohio service area, which includes the Canton and Youngstown metropolitan areas in addition to Cleveland and Akron, would have been stronger had it not been for layoffs in metals production and the energy industry.

Those layoffs were due to competition from steel imports and the sharp decline in energy prices, which has reduced investment in oil and gas drilling in the region.

Looking back to before the recession, however, is a reminder that the region has shed thousands of jobs.

According to data compiled by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, the Cleveland and Akron metros have lost 62,400 jobs since employment peaked in 2006, before the recession.

The state agency’s data shows that regional employment averaged 1,398,600 during 2006 but has dropped, as of April, to 1,336,200.

Broken down, the Cleveland area has lost 47,000 workers since 2006, while Akron has lost 18,400 jobs.

ACE REPORT

Month Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
Sept (Actual) 1,164,804    473,914  690,890 215,278 949,526
Oct (est.) 1,164,798    473,762  691,036 217,419 947,379
Nov (est.) 1,161,764    472,667  689,097 214,861 946,903
Dec (est.) 1,164,131    473,645  690,486 215,080 949,051
Jan (est.) 1,163,766    473,498  690,268 214,997 948,769
Feb (est.) 1,165,793    474,378  691,415 214,576 951,217
Mar (est.) 1,165,950    474,430  691,519 214,767 951,183
Apr (est.) 1,167,824    475,197  692,628 215,062 952,762

May 27, 2016

By Jay Miller

ACE Report: Energy slowdown leads to a down March in region

By Jay Miller

Continuing its roller-coaster ride, Northeast Ohio lost 375 jobs in March, according to the latest Ahola Crain’s Employment (ACE) Report. The March loss was preceded by a February increase, which was preceded by a January loss and a December increase.

The longer, year-over-year gain, however, is positive, with Northeast Ohio employment up 3,316 jobs, a gain of 0.29%.

“The regional economy is expanding and is in better shape than many expected (given the) uncertainty caused by the volatile financial markets that disrupted economic activity earlier this year,” said economist Jack Kleinhenz, who compiles the ACE data, referring to stock market ups and downs that followed the price of oil.

Employment growth came entirely from the service sector, with employment in that sector growing by 6,397 jobs, a 0.7% increase. That was offset by a loss of 3,081, or 1.5%, in the smaller industrial sector.

Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, explained the weakness in industrial sector employment in an April 1 speech to the New York Association for Business Economics after noting that the slowdown in the energy sector was affecting employment in northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

“Regional firms with international exposure, such as steel producers, also continue to struggle in the wake of dollar appreciation and lower commodity prices that reflect weak global demand,” she said.

“While manufacturers with ties to energy and steel production have faced challenges, the weakness in that segment has been offset by production increases at manufacturers supplying the construction industry and by the auto industry.”

The ACE Report surveys only Cuyahoga County and the six counties that surround it, while the Fed’s Cleveland-based Fourth District comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Michael Teshome, an economist who covers the Midwest for PNC Financial Services Group, agrees with Mester but also sees a future of employment growth in other sectors.

“Layoffs in the steel industry will restrain employment growth in manufacturing,” he wrote. “Health care, finance and professional services will add to the area’s economic growth.”

PNC forecasts employment growth in Northeast Ohio at 1% for 2016 and 1.1% for 2017. Longer term, PNC’s economist sees opportunity for greater growth.

“Though still only in their early development stages, manufacturing hubs for the machinery of new energy technologies and transportation equipment hold great promise for those regions that can attract and cultivate them,” Teshome wrote.

“The (Northeast Ohio) region’s lower costs and availability of underutilized assets will be an important tool in attracting new industries and opportunities into the region in the years ahead.”

Month Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
September (Actual) 1,164,804   473,914    690,890   215,278 949,526
Oct (est.) 1,165,339   473,967    691,371   217,727 947,611
Nov (est.) 1,162,090   472,798    689,292   214,944 947,146
Dec (est.) 1,164,636   473,839    690,797   215,335 949,301
Jan (est.) 1,164,051   473,610    690,441   215,102 948,949
Feb (est.) 1,165,721   474,355    691,366   214,476 951,246
Mar (est.) 1,165,346   474,200    691,147   214,441 950,905
Recent Month’s Estimated Change
Feb ’16 to Mar ’16    (375)   (154.98)    (220)    (34)    (341)
Diff from Mar 2015    3,316   1,607    1,709    (3,082)    6,397
Trend
3-month    1,165,040    474,055    690,985    214,673    950,366
6-month    1,164,531    473,795    690,736    215,338    949,193

ACE Report: Regional Job Market Closes 2015 on a High Note

The job market in the seven-county Cleveland-Akron metropolitan area closed 2015 with a relatively strong performance, adding 2,350 jobs from November on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The latest Ahola Crain’s Employment (ACE) Report projects that the region’s private sector grew to 1,162,540 jobs in December from 1,160,190 in November, an increase of 0.2%. Compared with December 2014, the Northeast Ohio workforce also is in positive territory, as it has posted a modest gain of 2,438 jobs since then.

Local economist Jack Kleinhenz, who compiles the ACE Report data, wrote in an analysis accompanying the December report that the month’s non-seasonally adjusted estimate of 1,171,636 jobs “is ahead of the 3-month and 6-month averages, which indicates further economic activity and job growth.”

But Kleinhenz offered a caveat, noting, “In looking forward, however, it is typical for the trajectory of monthly employment in the region in the early months of the year to be pared significantly back. Seasonal adjustment of this series masks that fact. …

“We expect a similar pattern to take place and recognize that some dampening of the pace of employment gains is projected,” he wrote. “This near-term development is not surprising in that the manufacturing sector has been battered and bruised.”

The not-bad, not-great nature of the December ACE Report is consistent with the state of Ohio’s jobs report for the month, which found unemployment rose to 4.7% from 4.5% in November.

Nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 15,200 over the month, to 5,451,500 in December from a revised 5,436,300 in November, according to data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

However, the number of workers unemployed in Ohio in December was 269,000, up from 255,000 in November.

On balance, through, the state is better off than it was a year ago, as the number of unemployed has decreased by 23,000 in the past 12 months from 292,000. In December 2014, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.1%

Crain’s partners with The Ahola Corp., a payroll and human resources services company in Brecksville, and Kleinhenz for the ACE Report to provide monthly data about the size of Northeast Ohio’s workforce.

Seasonally Adjusted Data

Month Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
June(Actual) 1,163,941   473,458   690,483   216,623   947,318
July(est.) 1,157,178   470,669   686,508   215,899   941,279
Aug(est.) 1,157,981   471,009   686,973   215,870   942,111
Sept(est.) 1,158,628   471,285   687,343   215,797   942,831
Oct(est) 1,161,187   472,346   688,841   215,991   945,195
Nov(est.) 1,160,190   472,052   688,138   214,203   945,987
Dec(est.) 1,162,540   473,031   689,509   214,310   948,229
Recent Month’s Estimated Change
Nov ’15 to Dec ’15 2,350   978.92   1,371   107   2,243
Diff from Dec 2014 2,438   1,221   1,217   (2,831)   5,269
Trend
3-month 1,161,305   472,476   688,829   214,835   946,470
6-month 944,272   944,272   944,272   944,272   944,272

By Scott Suttell

January 29, 2016

ACE Report: Northeast Ohio Has First Job Drop Since July

Employment in the seven-county Cleveland-Akron metropolitan area is being projected to dip ever-so-slightly in November. The estimated decline — 1,400 jobs or 0.1% of the employment in an economy of nearly 1.2 million jobs — reflects an annual slowdown in the manufacturing, or goods-producing, sector, according to the latest Ahola Crain’s Employment (ACE) Report.

The decline is the first drop since July and reflects an estimated increase of 834 jobs in service employment that is offset by a loss of 2,233 jobs in goods-related businesses.

Year-over-year, though, employment is up, according to the ACE numbers, with a modest gain of 5,427 since November 2014, a 0.58% seasonally adjusted increase.

“The region in recent history registers softer employment gains for the goods-related sector, typically in the later months of the year, and we are not overly concerned about the contractionary reading (for November) as the region remains in expansion territory,” said economist Jack Kleinhenz, who compiles the ACE data.

“The recent trend of performance is indicating further economic activity and job growth, but perhaps at a slower pace,” Kleinhenz said.

The regional economy continues to lag the national economy. Private employment nationally rose by 2.1% over the last 12 months, according to current employment data compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The two sub-metro areas in the region are performing similarly, though Cleveland is doing narrowly better than the Akron metropolitan area.

Estimates by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS), which analyzes the BLS data, found that the number of people employed grew by 0.018% over the last year in its Akron metro area, which includes Portage and Summit counties. Employment in the five-county Cleveland metro grew 0.019% from November 2014 to November 2015. The ACE estimates cover only private sector employment; the BLS data include all non-farm employment, including the government workforce.

Similarly, unemployment for the Cleveland metro was 3.7%, according to ODJFS, down from 5% in November 2104, while the two-county Akron metro had an unemployment rate of 4.6%, down from 5.3% a year ago.

Regional employment is expected to continue to grow, though slowly. Economists at PNC Financial Services Group, parent of PNC Bank, found optimism in October when the company surveyed small and middle market business owners in Ohio.

Because of optimism about the outlook for their own businesses and for the local economy, 19% of business owners surveyed said they planned to hire in the months ahead, compared with only 10% who had plans to hire six months earlier.

In addition, 36% of those employers — PNC did not disclose the size of its sample — said they expected to increase employees’ pay, up from 26% who were planning pay raises in the spring. Of those planning raises, 59% said they planned to give raises of 3% or more during the next six months.

Seasonally Adjusted Data

Month Non-Farm Small (1-49) Mid-Sized (50+) Goods-producing Service Producing
June (actual) 1,161,467 472,360 689,108 217,477 943,991
July (est.) 1,159,789 471,691 688,097 216,957 942,831
Aug (est.) 1,161,200 472,304 688,896 216,667 944,533
Sept (est.) 1,162,105 472,702 689,403 216,408 945,697
Oct (est) 1,164,808 473,822 690,986 216,617 948,190
Nov (est) 1,163,408 473,390 690,018 214,384 949,024
Recent Month’s Estimated Change
Oct ’15 to Nov ’15 (1,400) (431.7) (968) (2,233) 834
Diff from Nov 2014 5,427 2,430 2,997 (2,174) 7,601
Trend
3-Month 1,163,440 473,305 690,136 215,803 947,637
6-Month 1,162,129 472,712 689,418 216,418 945,711

Crain’s Cleveland Business