Here’s Kasich’s spokesman Rob Nichols Mansfield News Journal in response to Governor Strickland’s recent campaign appearance there:
Because of Ted Strickland’s mismanagement, Ohio still has higher unemployment than every neighboring state but Michigan, and we’re recovering more slowly,” Nichols wrote in an e-mail to the News Journal. “Relief is coming, however, and John Kasich encourages Ohioans to stay positive and hang in there because if he’s elected governor in November, we’ll be able to reduce spending and begin reducing taxes so we can revive the economy and create jobs.
Yes, it’s true that only Michigan is the only neighboring State with an unemployment rate higher than Ohio’s. However, Nichols’ statement even in this regard is highly misleading. Ohio’s unemployment rate in July was 10.3%. Indiana’s is 10.2%. That’s hardly a substantial difference. (And yet, even still, Kasich’s folks talk about Indiana’s economy under Mitch Daniels with unwarranted envy.)
Furthermore, Indiana and Pennsylvania saw their rates go up. PA’s July report was particularly bad because they saw their unemployment rate go up even as 40k folks dropped out of the labor market. Kentucky was hardly was a symbol of a fast recovering economy, either; it lost jobs in nine out of eleven sectors of the labor market last month. Michigan saw its unemployment rate drop only a tenth of a point, but is an entire point below a year before. Michigan, which had lead the nation in unemployment, is seeing a resurgence fueled almost entirely by the Obama Administration’s actions to save General Motors.
West Virginia saw a small uptick in its unemployment rate, which is still below the national rate. But is West Virginia really a state Ohio can, or should, model?
So to review, the only other State besides Ohio in the region that saw it’s unemployment drop was Michigan which had little else to go but down—and it was entirely driven by the federal government’s successful bailout of the auto industry.
Ohio is the sixth fastest growing economy in the nation, according to the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia, beating out Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
There is absolutely no truth to Nichols’ statement that Ohio’s recovering from the Great Lehman Recession slower than all the neighboring States. We’ve seen four consecutive months of unemployment dropping, while other neighboring States have seen theirs either rise or stay stagnant. Indiana is second only to California this month in new unemployment claims.
The reality is that early this summer this part of the industrial Midwest saw economic growth twice the rate of the rest of the nation.
Like Mr. Kasich, who constantly suggests Ohio should model itself off of States that objectively are worse economically than Ohio, Mr. Nichols is either lying about Ohio’s economy for brazen political purposes, or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Either way, it speaks poorly for the Kasich campaign, and Kasich as a candidate for Governor.