Every month the Office of Budget and Management releases a financial report that outlines how the economy is doing at the national and state level as well as how tax collections (revenues) for the State are going compared to what was projected in the current State budget.

And a few days ago, the OBM released their report for April and concluded that President Obama and Governor Strickland got the jobs done:

Economic Performance Overview

  • Real GDP increased by 3.1% in the fourth quarter after a lull in the middle two quarters of the year. Continued acceleration in consumer spending accounted for essentially all of the growth. The consensus is that the economy will expand at a somewhat faster pace throughout 2011.
  • Ohio employment increased by 13,800 in February after a 34,100 increase in January.
  • The Ohio unemployment rate decreased for the twelfth month in a row to 9.2 percent.
  • Leading economic indicators remain consistent with continuing economic recovery both nationally and in Ohio, but point to a moderate rate of growth.

The level of real GDP increased to a new all-time high that exceeds the peak prior to the 2007-09 recession by 0.1%, marking the technical
transition from the recovery to the expansion phase of the business cycle. 

Compared with a year earlier, real GDP increased 2.8% – the fastest pace during a 4-quarter span since the 3.0% rise in the second quarter of 2006.

In other words, while Kasich and his friends were filling the airwaves with ads claiming that Governor Strickland “didn’t get the jobs done,” he really was and as a result Ohio and the nation has already transitioned from the recovery phase of the economic cycle to the expansion phaseThe report  goes on to say that the first quarter is expected to be only slightly worse than the dynamic growth we saw in the fourth quarter last year.

Unemployment nationally, which peaked in October 2009 as the recession was ending, has dropped in the past sixteen months by 1.3%, which the OBM concludes is typical of most recoveries. 

And here’s what Kasich’s OBM said about Ohio’s unemployment:

During 2010, Ohio employment increased by a total of 31,000 jobs, rising during the winter and spring and remaining flat through year end.

Employment increased in most sectors during the twelve months ending in February. Declines in employment occurred in government (-1,500), financial services (-1,400) and information (-400). Increases occurred in all other sectors, led by professional business services (+22,900), education and health services (+21,000) and leisure and hospitality (+15,000).

The Ohio unemployment rate fell again in February to 9.2% from the high for the cycle of 10.6% in March – the twelfth consecutive monthly decline and the seventh consecutive reading below 10.0 percent.

Please note that public sector workers lost more jobs last year than any other sector.  Mention that the next time some proponent of SB 5 says public employees have been “immune” to the effects of this recession.  And note, we’ve had a year of constant falling unemployment, resulting in an annual drop of 1.4% (slightly faster than the nation as a whole.)

Remember how during the campaign Kasich, Portman, and the rest of the Ohio Republican Party suggested that Ohio was being left behind economically compared to other States in the region or the rest of the country?  Remember how Kasich used to talk about how much better Indiana, in particular, was doing under Mitch Daniels than Ohio under Strickland?  Remember how we said that Ted Strickland was going to beat Daniels on job creation?

Well, here’s Kasich’s OBM on the matter:

During the twelve months ending in February, employment increased in each of the contiguous states to Ohio. On a year-over year basis, employment increased 1.9% in Pennsylvania, 1.8% in Michigan, 1.7% in Kentucky, 1.6% in Ohio, and 0.9% and 0.7% in West Virginia and Indiana, respectively. (emphasis added.)

For the Ohio and contiguous state region, employment increased 1.6% during the most recent twelve months, compared with a 0.9% increase for all states outside the region combined. The year-over-year change in employment in Ohio and the contiguous states has exceeded growth
outside the region during the fourteen months from January 2010 through February. The last time employment in the region grew faster than in the rest of the nation for as long as fourteen months was February 1993.

Under Governor Ted Strickland, Ohio’s employment was growing over twice the rate of Indiana’s last year and nearly twice the rate of the rest of the country.  We’re getting rid of the Ohio Department of Development for JobsOhio so that we can model ourselves after Indiana’s economic development.  Think about that for a second.

I testified against JobsOhio because I challenged the Administration’s talking point that Indiana’s privatized systems was beating Ohio in creating jobs.  I even debated the Republican House’s Majority Whip on this site on this point.  And this week, John Kasich’s Office of Management and Budget unknowingly concedes I was right: in 2010, Ohio was vastly outpacing Indiana in job growth.

Did Ohio lose a lot of jobs under Strickland?   Sure.  We had a recession that started in 2008 and didn’t end until November 2009 in this country, and Ohio got hit hard since it’s the seventh largest State in the nation as a result and is still a manufacturing State.  But was Ohio positioned better than most State in the country to recover as quickly as possible?  Yes, says Kasich’s own Office of Budget & Management.

Ohio’s wage and incomes grew last year at the fastest rate they’ve seen since 2006.  After years in which Ohio’s wage growth fell behind national growth, Ohio’s wage growth matched the national growth rates under Strickland:


So what does all this positive Ohio economic news from 2010 mean for the budget?  Well, according to OBM, the State collected nearly a BILLION ($823 million)  more in revenues than projected in March alone.  This is a continuing trend in which a better than projected economic recovery in Ohio has allowed the State to beat revenue forecasts for the past three quarters of the current budget.

As a result, the State of Ohio is on pace to collect over $600 million more than projected in revenues over the current biennium.  The State has taken in nearly a billion ($939.2 million) more in revenues that it had at this point a year earlier.  And the growth is mostly fueled by better than expected receipts in sales taxes and income taxes.

Kasich LiedAll John Kasich has to do is sit back, stay out of the way, and Ohio’s on pace for a remarkable recovery.  We don’t need SB 5 or any of the things to bring Ohio to the forefront of the economic recovery because we’re already there.  Remember, Kasich’s own budget is based on the economic assumption that the economy will actually do slightly worse under Kasich that it did post-recession under Strickland.  I know some of this is pretty dense material, but in the end, what we have is an Administration that is admitting in dry, elevated economic wonk speak that their entire basis of being in power was based on a fraud/sham.

Just imagine what would happen if the traditional Ohio media pointed this out.