According to new data (PDF) released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Cincinnati’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.6% in August to 6.9% in September.
While this is good news on the surface, the full picture is mixed. As City Beat points out, the primary reason for the massive drop is declining participation in the labor force. 1,500 Cincinnatians left the labor force between August and September, meaning that they had given up looking for work. Since the unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of people employed by the total number of people in the labor force (working or looking for work), such a large drop in the size of the labor force can make relatively bad news look good.
With that said, there is some good news in the new data. In the past year, the number of employed Cincinnatians has jumped by 3,300, from 131,200 to 134,500.
And Cincinnati’s unemployment rate has been declining pretty steadily for more than a year now: