You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Ohio sues to recoup $604K it spent on tainted Enon water cleanup

Market surges as economy shows vigor

A surprisingly strong April jobs report Friday obliterated forecasts of weak job growth and spurred the stock market to surge.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday morning that U.S. employers added 165,000 nonfarm jobs last month. The unemployment rate dipped to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

The labor department also revised upward March’s dismal estimate of 88,000 new jobs to 138,000.

The stock market took off as soon as trading started for the day. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 15,000 for the first time ever before closing up 142.38 points at a record 14,973.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 index closed at 1,614.42, up 16.83 points. That’s the first time the index has closed above 1,600.

The Nasdaq rose 38.01 points to close at 3,378.63, its best finish since late 2000.

“This was like a breath of fresh air,” said Barry James, president of James Investment Research Inc. of Xenia.

The jobs report and stock market rally were the latest positive news from a recent string of strong economic reports.

Initial jobless claims last week dropped to a five-year low. New home sales also have risen, and auto sales have been strong.

Taken together, the data suggest the economic recovery does not appear to be losing steam, as some experts feared.

“This tells us that the economy is recovering fitfully, and even the data is behaving fitfully — first, worse than thought, and then better than thought,” said James Brock, professor of economics at Miami University. “I think it tells us things are getting better, but they are not where we would like them to be.”

But the economy’s recovery needs to accelerate to make a significant dent in the large pool of unemployed workers. Employment in Ohio fell last month, and sequestration could lead to significant payroll cuts in the region.

“Job growth in Ohio has stagnated completely,” said Richard Stock, director of the University of Dayton Business Research Group.

The largest gains in jobs occurred in professional and business services (+73,000 jobs), leisure and hospitality (+43,000), retail trade (+29,300) and education and health services (+28,000).

The largest losses occurred in government (-11,000 jobs), information (-9,000), and goods-producing industries, such as mining and construction (-9,000 in total).

U.S. payroll growth was better than expected.

Earlier this week, a survey of economists by Bloomberg projected that employers added only 148,000 jobs in April, which would be short of the 150,000 new jobs needed each month to keep up with population growth and immigration.

But perhaps the best news was that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revised its employment estimates for February and March.

Instead of adding only 88,000 jobs in March, which would have been the weakest growth in 10 months, employers added 50,000 more jobs. Employers in February added 332,000 jobs, not the 268,000 originally reported.

The jobs numbers were a “major boost” to the stock market, James said. Investors who had run into bonds because of negative economic reports were selling them Friday, he said.

However, the stock surge was likely a “one-day deal” and didn’t represent a major uptick in overall market volume, he said.

Employers are adding jobs at a time when fewer employers are laying off workers. Initial jobless claims last week fell to the lowest level since January 2008.

There have been other signs of new vigor in recent weeks.

New home sales in March were up 1.5 percent from February and 18.5 percent from March 2012.

More than 24,4000 homes were sold in Ohio through the first quarter of this year. That represents a 13.5 percent from the same time a year ago. Meanwhile, the average sales price climbed 5.7 percent to $125,920.

The area home sales rate this year for southwest Ohio is at its highest since 2007, according to figures released last month by regional boards of realtors.

The U.S. auto industry sold 1.4 million light vehicles in March 2013, which was an increase of 21.8 percent from February and a 3.4 percent increase from March 2012 sales, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The jobs report was good news for the nation, but Ohio’s job growth has stalled, Stock said.

Ohio lost more than 20,000 jobs in March, and the state has created only a few thousand jobs in the last 12 months, compared to 60,000 to 70,000 jobs in each of the previous two years.

The state has seen small increases in manufacturing and the service sector jobs, but construction hiring has declined and the government sector has fallen by more than 11,000 jobs.

Stock said he has “real concerns” for the economy of the Dayton region, where the effects of sequestration are starting to be felt.

The 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will cut 40 percent of its budget, or more than $30 million, between now and the end of the fiscal year, base officials announced Thursday. No job cuts will be included as part of the cuts, officials said.

“Wright-Patt has been a source of stability for us and over the period of the Great Recession actually represented a saving grace for us in terms of job growth,” Stock said. “So the events out there are deeply concerning to me.”

The U.S. economy would need to consistently add more than 200,000 jobs per month to meaningfully decrease unemployment, and far too many people cannot find full-time work, said Thomas Kaplan, Ness chair in entrepreneurship and associate professor of business at Wittenberg University.

About 26.8 million U.S. workers are part-time, including 7.9 million who wish to be full-time, according to labor data.

“That is an enormous number of people who aren’t working full-time, and that number rose in April,” Kaplan said. “This is really a jobless recovery. I am inherently an optimist, but I am still pretty pessimistic about the economic environment right now.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Springfield native brings fashion show to Upper Valley Mall
Springfield native brings fashion show to Upper Valley Mall

The Upper Valley Mall will be the center of area fashion on Sunday, June 25. The second “Fashion. Forward. Fusion.” Fashion Show will gather designers from Springfield, Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus to showcase their latest offerings, 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the former MC Sports location. READ MORE: Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County...
Snapchat introduces location-sharing with Snap Map
Snapchat introduces location-sharing with Snap Map

Snapchat is introducing a new way to locate your friends with the Snap Map.  The social media platform announced the news this week, revealing that the location-sharing feature will allow friends to find each other or anyone in the world using its map.  “We've built a whole new way to explore the world! See what's happening, find your...
Dayton Air Show announces paved parking for 2017 show
Dayton Air Show announces paved parking for 2017 show

Record rainfall on Friday is forcing coordinators of the Vectren Dayton Air Show at the Dayton International Airport to direct people today to alternative and paved parking sites. Two years ago, monsoon-like heavy rains pummeled the first day of the air show, causing many vehicles to become mired in muddy, grassy parking spots near the airport. Air...
JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations
JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations

Cincinnati-headquartered Kroger is hiring for 800 open positions at all Kroger locations. The grocery retailer is looking for new employees during a hiring event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all Kroger stores. Positions are open in the following departments: deli, bakery, meat and seafood, Starbucks, grocery and ClickList. Interested applicants...
Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County
Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County

Clark County residents have a chance to take part in a new fitness craze, goat yoga, which combines traditional yoga with baby goats. The Smiling Prairie Goat Farm, 9697 Chenoweth Rd., South Charleston, is offering classes this summer. The next class will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The cost is $25 a person. Sisters Jeri LaVielle and Linda Leonhard...
More Stories