Today’s July jobs report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services notes a weakening labor market just as we’re seeing nationally, but one that is still creating private sector jobs—particularly in manufacturing.

Ohio’s unemployment rate was 10.3 percent in July, down slightly from 10.5 percent in June, according to data released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 1,800 over the month, from the revised 5,045,000 in June to 5,046,800 in July.

“The number of unemployed Ohioans declined in July, and the unemployment rate decreased to 10.3 percent,” ODJFS Director Douglas Lumpkin said.  “Job gains in the private sector were partially offset by continuing jobs losses among government workers.”

The July unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 10.6 percent in July 2009.

While we saw no change in the national unemployment rate in July, in Ohio, we continued to see our unemployment rate drop for the third fourth straight month in a row.

Employment in goods-producing industries, at 814,700, advanced 4,200. The workforce in construction increased 3,300. Manufacturing added 1,000 jobs as a gain in nondurable goods (+1,300) exceeded a decrease in durable goods (-300).

July, traditionally, isn’t a very good month for hiring in the first place.   People tend not to start jobs until the school year starts this month.  The real question is: are we seeing the usual seasonal trend, and even if we are, will the national July jobs report and the media panic it created spook employers from hiring?

I would suspect that a high number of those construction jobs are for stimulus-funded construction projects given the nationally reported weak housing market.  Construction hiring increased 16.5 times over June’s figures.  I blame Obama.

We saw an 8,700 drop in government workers.  The ODJFS’ release was silent as to whether this was due to the census or not.  I’m assuming not.  Yesterday, we heard that the City of Chillicothe has had to lay off over three dozen city employees, including police and fire.  We’ve seen layoffs in state and local governments, including school districts.  Despite the portrayal of the stimulus by the Republicans, the stimulus has not only help to create government jobs.  The reality in Ohio is that it’s been public sector workers taking it on the chin the most this year than any other sector of the labor market, most of which is showing a gain in jobs instead.

Manufacturing hiring actually accelerated, tripling the number of net manufacturing jobs created in June.  I blame the Ohio Department of Development and Ted Strickland.

So, where does that leave us?  Ohio’s unemployment rate is has dropped .6% in the past three months.  The private sector continues to create jobs, but significantly slower than last month, which isn’t necessarily unusual.  The public sector continues to shed jobs, more so than any other sector in our economy—contrary to public perception.  And our unemployment situation is significantly better than it was a year ago.

Oh, and John Kasich’s campaign has to wind back its “Blame Strickland” clock yet again for the fifth out of the last seven months in a row.  (It would have been six our of seven but for the layoff of temporary census workers en masse in June.)

Ohio’s jobs reports shows that we have, in fact, seen a pretty good “Recovery Summer” in Ohio, particularly in our manufacturing sector.  This is good news for Ohio in the long term as we have been replace low-wage jobs in the service industry we’ve lost with manufacturing jobs that historical pay better.  We’re recovering, slowly, but we’re already better off than we were a year ago when Ohio was smack dab in the middle of losing 250k last year.