The monthly Ohio unemployment report scheduled for Friday will be delayed because of the federal government shutdown. That means residents and employers will have to wait to find out whether the slight uptick in the state jobless rate for August continued last month.

The Columbus Dispatch says the state compiles the report using data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. The shutdown is affecting both agencies.

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

Unemployment numbers are out for August, and Ohio’s rate was right in line with the national rate of 7.3 percent. But while the U.S. unemployment rate went from above 8 percent in August 2012 to 7.3 percent in August 2013, the state numbers actually ticked up slightly from last month and last year.

 A report out Sunday says the labor market in Ohio is tough—and not improving as fast as the rest of the country. But some Dayton-area officials have a brighter outlook.

The report, from left-leaning organization Policy Matters Ohio, says jobs, especially well-paying ones, are slow to return to the state. Unemployment has leveled out around 7 percent, but many people continue to leave the labor force completely.

The state says Ohio's unemployment rate held steady in July at 7.2 percent, matching what it was a year ago and remaining slightly higher than earlier in 2013. 

Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has varied only slightly since the beginning of the year. It has hovered below the U.S. unemployment rate, which dropped slightly to 7.4 percent for July.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio had 416,000 unemployed workers last month, up about 3,000 from June.

The state is changing the signs on its unemployment centers and putting in a new requirement for Ohioans who are out of work – that number is now at 413,000.

The new effort requires the state’s county unemployment centers to be branded under a single identity. Dave Reines is the executive director of Employment Connections, which will soon become Ohio Means Jobs Cuyahoga County.

“It seems to me that the, there’s some benefit to have some consistency across the state,” says Reines.

Ohio's unemployment rate for April was 7.0 percent - down slightly from 7.1 percent in the two previous months.

State officials released the numbers this morning ahead of the newest statewide labor force data.

The rate has consistently remained below the national level. The U.S. unemployment rate for April was 7.5 percent.

The state's leaders have said Ohio's economy and its job market are getting stronger, though the process is slow.

The state's declining unemployment rate will soon trigger a decrease in the amount of federal unemployment compensation available to Ohioans.

The number of weeks of unemployment compensation available depends on the state's unemployment rate, which averaged less than 7 percent in September, October and November. That means the maximum amount of compensation available, including state unemployment compensation, will drop from 63 weeks to 54 weeks on Jan. 12

The oil and gas boom has brought in lots of activity to eastern Ohio, and perhaps lots of out of state workers. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports says that’s a problem for the governor.

Gov. John Kasich has joked several times about the people he wants to see working with the oil and gas industry in Ohio, including in his State of the State speech in February.

Ohio food banks are distributing more food these days than during the recession a few years ago.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks says a difficult employment climate and increased costs for daily necessities are to blame.

The association says state food banks distributed 45 percent more food and supplies in fiscal year 2012 than they did just three years earlier at the height of the recession.

Flickr Creative Commons user EmmyMik

Sinclair Community College is slated to get a nearly $12 million federal grant for the development of job training in information technology.

Sinclair  will receive the funding to lead a consortium to develop the training. The U.S. Department of Labor says the money is part of $500 million in grants announced through a program that promotes skill development and jobs in certain fields through partnerships between employers and training providers.