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Researcher: Ohio's Job Recovery Will Be Slow

As Ohio manufacturers shed more jobs last week a new study says it could take seven or eight years to recover the number of jobs lost during the past year. WOSU's Tom Borgerding reports.

The Labor Department today says 1,500 Ohioans filed new claims for jobless benefits last week. Ohio State University researcher Mark Partridge says he's not surprised. Partridge studies employment trends. He says in the past Ohio usually suffered deeper recessions and slower job recoveries than the rest of the nation. "Ohio has been typically slow because we're going through a lot of restructuring. We've shed alot of our manufacturing jobs in alot of our old industries. And because of that, it means that when the economy goes into recovery we're still shedding those jobs when the rest of the country is still recovering."

Partridge says in the last two years, Ohio has lost 20 percent of its manufacturing base and many of those lost jobs will never return. Partridge adds that much of the state's current workforce is unprepared for the shift away from manufacturing.

"Like a lot of places there's workforce concerns that we have a large part of our workforce that really isn't able to move forward in some of the more knowledge oriented sectors."

The new study on Ohio's unemployment picture occurs just as the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank reports some improvements in what Patridge calls Ohio's old industries. Steel shipments rose last month as automakers re-stocked inventories. And a recent sharp drop in regional coal production has eased.

Tom Borgerding WOSU News.