By two one-hundredths of one percent, Ohio’s streak of 57 consecutive months of job growth below the U.S. national average ended in September, according to 2017 data on employment and unemployment in Ohio, released by ODJFS and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday morning.

Based on analysis by Ohio’s top number cruncher, George Zeller, Ohio’s year over year job growth rate not seasonally adjusted in September 2017 is 1.26 percent compared to the U.S. job growth rate in September of 1.24 percent. The good news is that Ohio has ended its old losing streak and started a new one of one month.

The main cause of the good news in the September 2017 data, Zeller explained, was that nation’s slowing job growth rate in September was due to hurricanes in southern states and wild fires in multiple western states.

“Ohio was not impacted by any of these natural disasters, and thus the Ohio job growth rate improved from 1.08 percent in August 2017 to 1.26 percent in September 2016,” Zeller said. “This improvement barely pulled Ohio’s current job growth rate above the USA national average for the first time during the last 58 consecutive months.”

September saw an increase of 2,600 manufacturing jobs, 3,800 jobs in educational services, the only industry that generated more job growth in Ohio in September than the gain in manufacturing. Additionally, arts, entertainment, and recreation were noticed as jobs spiked higher with a gain of 2,200.

The big “negative drag” on Ohio’s September job growth, Zeller pointed out, came in government, especially state government, which gained 6,900 jobs. Federal government jobs rose by 300. The trouble spot was a large loss of 7,200 jobs in local government, which included losses in municipalities, counties, and school districts.

“This good news is (a) badly needed improvement in the Ohio labor market,” Zeller told Plunderbund. “But, since it was mainly caused by natural disasters in other parts of the United States that Ohio did not experience, it will be very important to see whether this improvement is sustained in next month’s October data when the southern USA hurricanes no longer slow down the USA employment growth rate.”