Ohio unemployment rate down, staffing companies see bigger turnout

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Ohio's unemployment rate is on the way down. It dropped to 7.2 percent in December. Despite the drop, that rate is still higher than the national average of 6.7 percent.

Economists say Ohio's employment outlook is improving.

About 2,000 job seekers come to the Ohio Means Jobs office in Butler County every month. On Friday, they hosted a job fair for staffing companies and turnout was better than expected.

Whitney Read, a Business Services Liaison with Ohio Means Jobs says some people have a negative opinion of staffing companies.

"A lot of times when you throw out the term staffing or staffing firm, people have reservations about that," explains Read. "They think it's either seasonal or part-time only - temporary assignments."

Jenny White, District Manager for Patrick Staffing says getting a job through a staffing company can lead to something better.

"It's a temporary situation, but they do want to eventually hire them on permanent. Usually it averages 90-days that they're temporary," says White.

The chance for employment is what attracted dozens of job seekers to the job fair, like Ron Martin from Hamilton. Martin has a job, but he says he's looking for permanent full-time work.

"They're real good at getting people jobs and getting people right to work," explains Martin.

One of the largest segments of the unemployed is people over the age of 50. Finding a job can be challenging for these individuals.

Etta Spencer of White Oak says she's been unemployed for the last year.

"It's just very frustrating because I got skills and I can do any job so, and I'm not having any luck at all," says Spencer.

William Drinkuth a 60-year-old Mt. Washington resident who works part-time says he's having trouble finding full-time work.

"It's frustrating because I'm an older candidate and I have the qualifications, but it's hard to find the right job," he says.

Janet Harrah, the Senior Director of NKU's Center for Economic Analysis and Development says for many job seekers signing up with a staffing company may be an attractive option.

"One way to get your foot in the door is to go through a temporary agency, particularly if you're a brand new graduate or if you're someone who has been out of the labor force for awhile," says Harrah. "It gives you an opportunity to get back in the workforce and get some current skills."

The staff at Ohio Means Jobs estimate that 50 percent of the job listings they've seen recently are from staffing companies which for many offer a gateway to permanent employment.

Ohio Means Jobs has offices in all 88 counties that offer help in resume writing, interview preparation, computer basics and education assistance for qualified applicants.

For more information log on to: http://ohiomeansjobs.com/omj/

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