YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — For the second straight week, new unemployment claims in Ohio fell by more than 2,000.
Ohioans filed 10,799 initial traditional unemployment claims during the week ended Feb. 26, down from 12,896 the previous week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Thursday.
Another 59,551 continued traditional unemployment claims were reported during the period, up slightly from 59,420 the previous week.
The total number of traditional claims filed between Feb. 20 and Feb. 26, 2022 was 70,350.
Ohio’s unemployment rate in December was 4.5%, the agency said. The national unemployment rate in December was 3.9%. Ohio’s labor force participation rate in December was 61.5%, compared to 61.9% nationally.
Pennsylvania reported 10,336 initial jobless claims for the week ended Feb. 19, according to the most recent data available from the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis. That’s down from the 11,371 claims reported the week prior, marking three straight weeks of declines. Continued claims in the commonwealth increased to 104,918 for the week ended Feb. 19 from 99,911 the week prior.
Nationally, fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week reflecting a low number of layoffs across the economy.
Jobless claims fell by 18,000 to 215,000 for the week ending February 26, from 233,000 the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The four-week average for claims, which compensates for weekly volatility, fell by 6,000 to 230,500.
In total, 1,476,000 Americans were collecting jobless aid the week that ended Feb. 12, a small uptick of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised number, which was its lowest level since March 14, 1970.
First-time applications for jobless aid generally track the pace of layoffs, which are back down to fairly healthy pre-pandemic levels.
The Labor Department releases its February jobs report on Friday. Analysts surveyed by the financial data firm FactSet forecast that the U.S. economy added 400,000 jobs last month.
In January, the U.S. economy added a whopping 467,000 jobs and revised December and November gains upward by a combined 709,000. The unemployment rate stands at 4%, a historically low figure.
The U.S. economy has rebounded strongly from 2020′s coronavirus-caused recession. Massive government spending and the vaccine rollout jumpstarted the economy as employers added a record 6.4 million jobs last year. The U.S. economy expanded 5.7% in 2021, growing last year at the fastest annual pace since a 7.2% surge in 1984, which also followed a recession.
Inflation is also at a 40-year high — 7.5% year-over-year — leading the Federal Reserve to ease its monetary support for the economy. The Fed has said it will begin a series of interest-rate hikes this month in an effort to tamp down surging prices.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.