Business & Economy

Updated at 10:53 a.m. ET

Hiring slowed somewhat in December, as U.S. employers added 145,000 jobs. According to the Labor Department, that's down slightly from the three previous months, when employers added an average of 200,000 jobs. But the unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%, matching its lowest level in 50 years.

Kecia Jolley is getting a pay raise this week. But she's still making minimum wage.

Jolley works as a grocery store cashier in Missouri — one of nearly two dozen states that increased their minimum wages on Jan. 1. Economists say those mandatory wage hikes are an important factor boosting pay for workers at the bottom of the income ladder.

Jolley's Friday paycheck will be the first to reflect Missouri's 2020 minimum of $9.45 an hour, up from $8.60 last year.

"I think that I'll be better off," she says. "But I think that it's going to still be a struggle."

A new study suggests that raising the minimum wage might lower the suicide rate — especially when unemployment is high — and that doing so might have saved tens of thousands of people from dying by suicide in the last quarter century.

Akron’s Chapel Hill Mall came perilously close to closing its doors Friday over a delinquent water and sewer bill. 

The city says its Office of Integrated Development gave the mall’s owner, New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group, until 9:30 Friday morning to make a payment or face closure.

President Donald Trump speaks to the Ohio Republican Party State Dinner, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, in Columbus.
Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump's reelection campaign returns to Central Ohio next week. The January 8 event at the Hilton at Easton will feature the president's campaign advisor Lara Trump, and is expected to continue a focus on the economy.

Money in a tip jar.
Miguel A. Padrinan / Pexels

When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, Ohio’s lowest paid workers will have a special reason to celebrate. 

In March 2009, Wall Street was a fearful and anxious place, where fortunes had been decimated and retirement funds deflated.

What few people could foresee in the depths of the Great Recession was that the stock market was also on the verge of a historic recovery, one that persists today. The decadelong run is also raising caution flags for some analysts who worry that investors are accepting too much risk.

Stocks are finishing 2019 on a remarkable upswing, with all of the major indexes hitting record highs and the S&P 500 up nearly 30% for the year.

Gov. Mike DeWine talks to farmer Kris Swartz in Perrysburg on June 19, 2019.
Nick Evans / WOSU

It looks like 2019 could be the first year in a decade where Ohio loses jobs. Will 2020 provide better job prospects in the state?

Pexels

Ohio’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in November even as the state added almost 7,000 new jobs. 

Two years ago Friday, Republicans in Congress passed a sweeping tax cut. It was supposed to be a gift-wrapped present to taxpayers and the economy. But in hindsight, it looks more like a costly lump of coal.

Passed on a party-line vote, the tax cut is the signature legislative accomplishment of President Trump's first term. He had campaigned hard for the measure, promising it would boost paychecks for working people.

Skilled Trades

Dec 19, 2019
Mac Connor is now an automotive technician for COTA after graduating from Fort Hayes Career Center.
Rivet / WOSU

Skilled trade jobs pay well, are in demand and fulfill the requirement of a career for many people. 

But the skilled trades often are overlooked by graduating high-school seniors. 

City leaders reveal the results of a small business assessment.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Columbus officials on Wednesday shared the results of an assessment of small business economic development in the city.

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