State Representative John Adams (R-Sidney) came onto our site last night to leave this comment on my JobsOhio story:

John Adams“Keep in mind that Indiana gained 40,000 jobs since August, 2009. Ohio gained about 7,300 jobs during the same time. This with a DOD of 65 employees and a budget of $37 million versus Ohio’s DOD that has 408 employees and a budget of $ 1.15 billion.

“The average salary for manufacturing employees in Ohio was less than in Indiana in 2009 ($43,011 in Ohio, $45,643 in Indiana), but electricity costs ( 6.19 cents per kilowatt hour for industrial users in Ohio versus 5.71 in Indiana) and average workers compensation rates ( $ 3.37 per $100 of payroll in Ohio an $2.22 in Indiana ) favor Indiana.

“Yep…let’s keep doing the same thing expecting different results. Glad your readership is up. I frequent the site to get a chuckle. – State Rep. John Adams"

We’ve verified that this comment was from the House Majority Whip.

If only State Rep. Adams had verified his facts…

I went to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare the employment numbers for Indiana and Ohio August 2009 until November 2010 (the December data for both States wasn’t available when Rep. Adams made his comment, nor on the BLS’ website.)  I’ve looked only at the seasonally adjusted numbers as that is the standard figure used when talking jobs numbers.

Here’s the chart for Indiana:


Here’s the chart for Ohio:


Now, I don’t know why House Majority Whip Adams used the date of August 2009 as his point of reference (See, correction below), but since he did, here’s what we see:

  • Indiana LOST 22,030 jobs in that time period (Aug. ‘09 to Nov. ‘10).
  • Ohio GAINED 7,304 jobs in that same time period.

A more reasonable frame of reference would be how the States did over the 2010 calendar year (or at least through November since that’s the data available on the BLS’ website).  Doing that and:

  • Indiana GAINED 10,418 jobs since December 2009 in 2010; but
  • Ohio GAINED 62,864 jobs in the same time period.

That means last year Ohio GAINED over six times as many jobs as neighboring Indiana in 2010.  In State Rep. Adams’ defense, he was merely repeating a talking point that Governor Kasich used at one time during the campaign, and he simply never noticed that the campaign ceased using it when it was no longer true[Correction:] After going back and looking at the chart, I had no freakin’ clue where Adams thought Indiana grew 40,000 at any point since August 2009.  Because there’s no entry on the chart above that shows that. 

After some research, I found that Adams’ entire comment apparently was lifted verbatim without attribution to this Sept. 29, 2010 Toledo Blade article which claimed that Indiana grew six times as many jobs as Ohio did from August 2009 to August 2010.  This article was cited by Kasich and his supporters like Jon Keeling to justify JobsOhio.   However, the Blade article used the preliminary figure for Indiana, which obviously had since been SEVERELY revised downward so that it now shows a net loss in Indiana of 35,000 jobs, while Ohio gained over 1,900 jobs.  I don’t know if the Blade ever ran a correction.  Oops.

But comparing Indiana to Ohio is an apples to oranges comparison.  Indiana is a far more agricultural, less manufacturing, less populated, more rural State than Ohio.  Instead, a better comparison would be with Michigan, which also has a private State Economic Development Corporation.  Michigan, like Ohio, is a State with a deep history of manufacturing, particularly in the auto industry (just like Ohio).  The population, urban densities, etc., are far more similar between Ohio and Michigan than Indiana and Ohio.

So, how did Michigan do last year?  Well, Michigan did grow more jobs than Ohio in 2010.  It grew 65,604 jobs last year.  So why doesn’t JobsOhio proponents like House Majority Whip John Adams not cite Michigan instead?

A couple of reasons.  The first being that Michigan is tied for the second highest unemployment in the nation.  (By the way, Rep. Adams should know that Florida—which has the oldest state economic development corporation in the nation—has the third highest unemployment in the nation.)  So Indiana is the only nearby State that Ohioans can identify with that also is a State with a private economic development corporation that doesn’t have an unemployment rate higher than Ohio’s.

Another reason?

Michigan embezzler

And screw Michigan, that’s why.

The fact of the matter is that House Majority Whip Adams’ own comment cited reasons wholly unrelated to whether the State’s economic development office is public or private as to why businesses might move to Indiana from Ohio. 

And he’s yet to cite any evidence, at all, that Ohio’s unemployment situation would be any better if the Ohio Department of Development was privatized.

I look forward to House Majority Whip Adams recognizing that based on his realization that since Ohio gained jobs as Indiana lost them… and actually grew six times more jobs than Indiana last year, JobsOhio is not the economic panacea he once thought.

I’m sure now that he’s been corrected, he’ll join me in opposing JobsOhio, right?

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