Dayton region loses jobs for first time since spring.

“These cuts are not sustainable and we’re still looking for federal aid to get us through this once-in-a-century pandemic,” Shannon said.

A worker on North Main Street in downtown Dayton on Friday afternoon. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A worker on North Main Street in downtown Dayton on Friday afternoon. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Employment in the Dayton metro area declined -0.6{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} in December, which was the second worst job loss in the state behind only Toledo (-0.8{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}), according to preliminary and seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Dayton metro area added 2,600 jobs in November after posting 600 job gains in October. The metro area includes Montgomery, Miami and Greene counties.

The region hadn’t lost workers since April, which was the first month following the statewide coronavirus-related lockdowns. In April, local employers cut 45,200 workers ― a staggering and unheard of number.

Hiring bounced back, with 8,000 new jobs in May and 12,700 in June. In normal times, that would be extraordinary payroll growth.

But the pandemic put the region in deep jobs hole, and employment growth slowed considerably in summer and early fall.

Employers added back 6,300 jobs between July and October.

About 371,100 workers were employed in the metro area in December, which means it still has a 20,600 jobs deficit from a year ago.

From December 2019 to December 2020, state government and state government educational services experienced the largest employment declines, according to not seasonally adjusted data.

In November, Wright State University announced it planned to reduce its faculty workforce, which comes after the school cut 50 staff positions over the summer and 30 faculty agreed to retire early.

The number of faculty who could be affected by “retrenchment” has not been announced.

General merchandise trade year-over-year saw its local workforce shrink by 14.5{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}, and local schools and educational services saw a 13.3{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} reduction in jobs, the data show.

Local government employers cut 4,400 workers in that time frame, or nearly 12{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} of their payrolls, the data show.

Dollar General is hiring at the Woodlane Plaza in Dayton. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF

Dollar General is hiring at the Woodlane Plaza in Dayton. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF

The city of Dayton projects collecting less revenue in 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis, Shannon said, and the city made significant budget cuts last year, partly through personnel cost reductions including a hiring freeze, voluntary separation program and the elimination of some vacant positions.

Shannon said the city needs and is calling for federal funding support, like proposed rescue aid for local governments, because the pandemic has wreaked havoc on its budget and its low staffing levels are “unsustainable.”

Most job sectors have seen local employment decline in the last year. Only financial activities and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services experienced any growth.

Dayton region lost jobs in December        
Job sectors/industries that saw largest job losses from December 2019 to December 2020        
Job category Employment Dec. 2019 Employment in Dec. 2020 # change in jobs {c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} change in jobs
State government educational services 5,100 4,000 -1,100 -21.6{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}
State government 6,300 5,100 -1,200 -19.0{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}
General merchandise stores (retail trade) 8,300 7,100 -1,200 -14.5{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}
Local government educational services 21,100 18,300 -2,800 -13.3{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}
Local government (overall) 37,000 32,600 -4,400 -11.9{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}
Professional, scientific and technical services 27,000 24,200 -2,800 -10.4{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics      

And the U.S. economy faces a variety of risks in the next few weeks and months, owing partly to the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the uncertainty surrounding proposed economic relief legislation, said Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst with Bankrate.

“The damage to personal finances and employment is on top of the heartbreaking mounting causality toll from the disease itself,” he said.

Unemployed workers could remain jobless for a prolonged period of time, and there’s still the possibility of more job losses because the pandemic gets more under control and the economy really begins to heal, he said.

But some local economic development officials say the Dayton region knows how to rebound from tough times and it is well positioned moving forward.

Ritter's Frozon Custard & Italian Ice on Wilmington Pike is hiring. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF

Ritter’s Frozon Custard & Italian Ice on Wilmington Pike is hiring. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF

“Our community is resilient,” said Dayton Development Coalition Board Chair John Landess. “While it’s tempting to think the new year has swept away our difficulties, we still have a long recovery ahead of us. … We are stronger together.”

The Dayton Development Coalition earlier this week said companies in the 12-county Dayton region have committed to creating nearly 2,000 new jobs, retaining 8,200 workers and investing nearly $605 million in capital improvements.

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