Just about every month last year, I’d do a post about Ohio’s unemployment figures and show how the State was already in an economic recovery that the media refused to acknowledge during the political campaign.  Almost inevitably, Jon Keeling at Third Base Politics would essentially try to write a rebuttal post denying that Ohio was in any sort of economic recovery.

image First, let’s start with a graph Keeling like to use over and over again.  It comes from Governor Strickland’s Council of Economic Advisors, an entity comprised of the leading economic forecasters in Ohio’s private market.  The economic forecasters from some of the top financial companies in Ohio.  And to the right, you’ll see the graph of what they projected back in June of 2010:

It predicted employment in Ohio will fall 1.5 percent this year, but rebound with increases of 0.9 in 2011 and 1.4 percent in 2012. It also said the state’s unemployment rate will reach 10.7 percent this year, from 10.4 percent in 2009, but will drop to 10.2 percent next year and 9.7 percent in 2012.

What happened instead?  Ohio’s unemployment continued to drop.  For seven straight months, Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped from a high point of 11% in March to a preliminary estimate of 9.6% in December.  In 2010, Ohio’s unemployment dropped 1.2% from 2009 in the single largest drop over a year in unemployment in Ohio in 23 years

And that drop in 1987 was after unemployment peaked in 1985.  We didn’t hit our peak in unemployment after the Great Recession, again, until March.  So last year was actually the most remarkable turnaround in unemployment within a year in Ohio since 1983! We have an unemployment rate below what Governor Strickland’s Council of Economic Advisors didn’t predict we’d reach until 2012.

Instead of losing jobs for the year as predicted in June, we created over 72,000 jobs in Ohio.  Since 1980, the largest single-year of job losses in Ohio was 2009.  The second largest was in 2008.  That’s how bad the recession was on Ohio.  And yet, in the one year after the greatest recession Ohio has seen since the Great Depression ended, Ohio created in one year more than half as many jobs as Bob Taft created during his entire eight-year tenure as Governor.

Keeling’s common reply to Ohio’s dropping unemployment was that it was caused by people dropping out of the labor market, not an improving economy.  Unfortunately for him, this also was untrue.  Over the course of the year, Ohio’s labor market wound up staying essentially flat from a year ago, with a slight increase over 2009.

So, Ohio’s unemployment was not dropping over seven months because people were dropping out of the labor market because they couldn’t find work.  It was dropping because Ohio was creating over 73,000 jobs.

I tried raising awareness of the media’s odd unwillingness to acknowledge the job growth in Ohio back in August during my appearance on ONN’s “Capitol Square,” and it was dismissed as an opportunity for the “other side” to make a political point instead of being recognized as the objectively true statement it was:

Had the economic recovery of 2010 began just a month or two months earlier, Ted Strickland in all likelihood would have been re-elected as would other Democrats.  Or if the media had truthfully reported about the full extent of the economic recovery in Ohio during the campaign.

The economic recovery was denied by Republicans and largely ignored or discounted by the Ohio media, but it cannot be ignored any longer.  Ohio had a remarkable economic recovery last year, and left to its own devices, this year should be an even stronger year in recovery.  The only question is whether John Kasich will do anything that a) warrants him deserving any credit, b) anything that could harm the recovery.

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  • Adrienne Knight

    Because the conservatives had to elect R’s to take the credit so they used their evil minions in the newspaper business to lie by omision. Now they can say how great R’s are at creating jobs. Unless wwtt screws it up by letting this “Jobsohio ” scam steal our money.

  • Rgtmwlly

    You’re right! Ohio is doing great! There are lots and lots of jobs here and the budget is really healthy! There was no need for change in leadership this year, Ohio was already perfect! Thank you Ted Strickland! Thank you for being so great at stuff!

    Gee, I wonder why that message didn’t work on the campaign last year. Was it all the stupid media’s fault for just not acknowledging what a terrific job Ted had done bringing jobs to Ohio? Why, yes! Of course it was! I read so right here!

  • Anonymous

    That message didn’t work because that message wasn’t delivered. You can whine like a lil’ partisan hack, but I noticed you can’t actually address the issue.

  • Anonymous

    If Kasich actually goes through with his plans as he’s laid them out right now, the recover will stop dead in its tracks. There is no way that a policy of lower taxes and less spending creates ANY jobs. In order to do that, there has to be wholesale loss of jobs, which in turn causes still other jobs to be lost as the laid-off government workers, teachers, policemen, firemen, librarians, social workers etc who fuel middle-class communities all slash their personal spending and put waitresses, hairdressers, caterers, florists, small shopkeepers etc etc out of work. Wrecking unions and lowering wages will also result in less money in the economy and fewer jobs. Hopefully, reality will hit Kasich at some point but personally I don’t believe he’s sincere about job creation. I think his palaver about it is simply window dressing for his desire to pillage the states resources and run. I’m very afraid the recovery has hit a brick wall.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve got it backwards. The waitresses, hairdressers, caterers, florists, and small shopkeepers are the ones who do the productive work so that the government workers, teachers, policemen, firemen, librarians, and social workers can get paid. Without these productive members of the private sector, government would not exist. Every dollar government spends comes initially from the efforts of somebody in the private sector.

  • Rgtmwlly

    Oh yes I can. The issue is that unemployment went waaaaay up under Ted’s terrible stewardship of the state. Like it or not – and try to blame it on someone else or not, that is a fact. What is also a fact is that countless businesses left here over the past four years, that were ignored, treated poorly, or put on the back-burner behind the stupid politically correct agenda of the Strickland administration. None of that can possibly be argued. It is absolute fact.

    So after all the disasters of the last four years and the companies that ran for the hills from the high tax, non-responsive government, political correctness-first Strickland administration, you somehow want, expect, and feel entitled to credit for a modest decrease in the unemployment figures that nearly doubled under your watch – forget it. The voters already ruled on that. You lose. Your arguments are stupid and have already been decided on my the voters of this state. If you don’t like it, oh well – I guess that’s what ill-informed bloggers are for.

  • Halo

    Government workers, teachers, policemen, firemen, librarians and social workers pay taxes, too. Every dollar government spends comes initially from anyone who earns a paycheck. Duh.

  • EducateYourself

    @ tudorman. Newsflash: Government workers pay taxes, too. They contribute just as much as those in the private industry if not more. No tax breaks. So, essentially, they are paying a portion of their salaries, too. My mother was a teacher for 30+ years. Father a government worker. I know. Your last sentence should read: Every dollar government spends comes initially from the efforts of those who pay taxes, period.
    You want to get mad at those who are essential to your community when you have a current governor paying his cabinet members 50k more in salaries per year (search plunderbund for proof) at the expense of low end workers in that sector. And that is more than previous administration.
    Do your homework before you make assumptions.

  • Anonymous

    The economic illiteracy of people is incredible. Do you people believe in the tooth fairy also?

    Question – Where does the money that public employees use to pay their taxes initially come from?

    Answer – The private sector

    If the private sector paid no taxes, public employees would have no money to spend on anything, from groceries to their own tax bills. Or consider this – if you reduced the salaries and wages of all public employees by the amount of taxes they paid, and let them pay no taxes at all, there would be no net difference to the government. The taxes paid by public employees is akin to you taking some of the money in your right pocket and putting it in your left pocket.

    If you don’t understand this, I feel sorry for you.

  • Anonymous

    Um, there’s was a global recession. Worst since the Great Depression. Here’s a newsflash for you, less than 2% of the jobs Ohio lost under Governor Strickland were the result of businesses moving out of the State. That means more than 98% of the job losses can be attributed to the recession. There was nothing ANY Governor could do to spare the State from the recession we just had. Every State was affected.But there were things that a Governor could do to position the State to recover as quickly as possible from such a recession. And that’s exactly what Governor Strickland did. Taxes were down 17%, he eliminated hundreds of regulations, rewrote thousands more after input from the private sector. And reduced government spending.As a result, Ohio had the quickest one-year drop in unemployment since 1983.I wouldn’t call the 2010 elections the voters speaking, especially since Strickland barely lost in an election in which the winner failed to get a majority vote, and the turnout was so low less than half of registered voters voted.But that’s for playing. I guess I could add economic illiteracy to your failings.

  • Anonymous

    Um, there’s was a global recession. Worst since the Great Depression. Here’s a newsflash for you, less than 2% of the jobs Ohio lost under Governor Strickland were the result of businesses moving out of the State. That means more than 98% of the job losses can be attributed to the recession. There was nothing ANY Governor could do to spare the State from the recession we just had. Every State was affected.But there were things that a Governor could do to position the State to recover as quickly as possible from such a recession. And that’s exactly what Governor Strickland did. Taxes were down 17%, he eliminated hundreds of regulations, rewrote thousands more after input from the private sector. And reduced government spending.As a result, Ohio had the quickest one-year drop in unemployment since 1983.I wouldn’t call the 2010 elections the voters speaking, especially since Strickland barely lost in an election in which the winner failed to get a majority vote, and the turnout was so low less than half of registered voters voted.But that’s for playing. I guess I could add economic illiteracy to your failings.

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