Ohio unemployment rate improves slightly at 8.4%

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW/AP) – Ohio’s unemployment rate has hit 8.4% for the month of September.

It’s an improvement from August when it was 8.9%.

472-thousand workers remain unemployed across the state.

The unemployment rate was 4.1% in September of 2019.

Retail sales rose in September for the fifth month in a row, as Americans spent more on clothing, cars and sporting goods.

The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales grew 1.9% last month. That’s up from August’s increase of 0.6%.

Retail sales have been recovering since plunging in the spring as stores and malls were ordered closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of all U.S. economic activity, and is watched closely to gauge the country’s economic health.

Friday’s retail sales report covers only about a third of overall consumer spending. Services such as haircuts and hotel stays are not included in the report. All of those types of businesses have been badly hurt by the pandemic.

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