Ohio’s economy affects summer employment opportunities

Sarah Steimer

Unemployment is on the rise and the job students choose this summer may determine their employment status.

“Job loss is going up … particularly in Ohio,” economics professor Lockwood Reynolds said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the preliminary national unemployment rate is 5.1 percent. In Ohio, this number jumps to 5.7 percent and 6 percent in the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor region. Another decline, particularly in the rust belt region, is expected in 2008, Reynolds said.

Reynolds said to be concerned with finding service jobs “that students typically work.” He said there is evidence that people aren’t going out to eat as much as they used to.

He also said there is a chance young people will be crowded out of summer jobs, unless they’re willing to work for less. Reynolds said to expect more family members to join the workforce in the near future.

But Reynolds said it depends on where a student lives and what job he or she is looking for. For example, students not in the rust belt region or not looking for service jobs may not experience the same difficulties as those who are.

Alexander Lubera, freshman fashion design major, said he isn’t concerned about not having a job.

“Every time I come home from break I have a job,” he said. “And as many hours as I’d like.”

Chadd Smith, a freshman political science major, said he isn’t as confident in his summer job possibilities as Lubera. He said he’s applying for an on-campus job, but if he decides to return home this summer, he’s not sure where he’ll work.

“I’m afraid there will be less hours available,” Smith said.

Rebecca Miller, a manager at Susan’s Coffee and Tea on Main Street, said she isn’t expecting business or student employment at the store to decline.

Miller said the store has been really busy and because of recent changes, summer is expected to be profitable.

“It’s a matter of serving customers,” Miller said. She said she believes the way Susan’s works at maintaining regular customers will allow the store to avoid making employment cutbacks.

Miller said she has had people of all ages recommended to her for employment, but the bulk of the store’s employees are Kent State students.

Contact student finance reporter Sarah Steimer at [email protected].