News Release
June 21, 2021
Tom Betti, 614-817-2945
Ohio’s Unemployment Rate Increased to 5.0% in May

Ohio's unemployment rate was 5.0% in May 2021, up from 4.7% in April. Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased 14,800 over the month, from a revised 5,304,000 in April to 5,289,200 in May 2021.

Ohio and U.S. Unemployment Rates, seasonally adjusted May 2020 – May 2021
Ohio Nonfarm Payroll Employment Over-the-Month Change, seasonally adjusted, May 2020 – May 2021

Household Survey Data

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in May was 278,000, up from 273,000 in April. The number of unemployed has decreased by 589,000 in the past 12 months from 867,000. The May unemployment rate for Ohio decreased from 14.9% in May 2020. The U.S. unemployment rate for May was 5.8%, down from 6.1% in April, and down from 13.3% in May 2020.

In May, the labor force participation rate in Ohio was 59.9%, down from 62.3% in April 2021 and down from 63.0% in May 2020. During the same period, the national labor force participation rate was 61.6%, down from 61.7% last month and up from 60.8% one year ago.

Ohio and U.S. Labor Force Participation Rates, seasonally adjusted, May 2020 – May 2021

Establishment Survey Data

Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased 14,800 over the month, from a revised 5,304,000 in April to 5,289,200 in May, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).

Employment in goods-producing industries, at 889,100, decreased 3,900 over the month with losses in manufacturing (-2,600), construction (-1,200), and mining and logging (-100). The private service-providing sector, at 3,656,100, decreased 10,300 as losses in trade, transportation, and utilities (-7,800); financial activities (-3,400); educational and health services (-1,000); and professional and business services (-800) exceeded gains in leisure and hospitality (+2,300); information (+200); and other services (+200). Government employment, at 744,000, decreased 600 as losses in state (-500) and federal (-200) government surpassed gains in local government (+100).

From May 2020 to May 2021, nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 395,700. Employment in goods-producing industries increased 68,600. Manufacturing added 53,100 jobs in durable goods (+41,500) and nondurable goods (+11,600). Construction added 16,200 jobs and mining and logging employment decreased 700. Employment in the private service-providing sector increased 321,700 with gains in leisure and hospitality (+141,900); trade, transportation, and utilities (+58,500); educational and health services (+46,400); professional and business services (+39,600); other services (+26,900); financial activities (+6,600); and information (+1,800). Government employment increased 5,400 as gains in local government (+15,000) outpaced losses in state (-8,400) and federal (-1,200) government.

EDITOR’S NOTE: All data cited are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor. Data sources include the Current Population Survey (U.S. data), Current Employment Statistics Program (nonagricultural wage and salary employment data), and Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (Ohio unemployment rates). More complete listings of the data appear in the monthly Ohio Labor Market Review. Unemployment rates for all Ohio counties, as well as cities with populations of 50,000 or more, are presented in the monthly ODJFS Civilian Labor Force Estimates publication. Updated statewide historical data may be obtained through the OhioLMI app, which is available for free on mobile devices through the App Store or Google Play. Ohioans can access tens of thousands of job openings, for positions ranging from file clerks to CEOs, at

News release dates
A calendar of 2021 release dates is available online at County, city, and metropolitan area unemployment rates for May 2021 will be posted online at on Tuesday, June 22. June 2021 unemployment rates and nonagricultural wage and salary data for Ohio will be released by ODJFS on Friday, July 16, 2021. This information and the monthly statistical summaries it is based on are also available at

Choose this link to view the table on the Ohio and U.S. Employment Situation.

Choose this link to view the table on the Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment Estimates for Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services manages vital programs that strengthen Ohio families. These include job training and employment services, unemployment insurance, cash and food assistance, child care, child and adult protective services, adoption, and child support services.