This morning, the Ohio jobs report for August was released by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. It’s not good news. For the third straight month in a row, unemployment in Ohio went up from 9% in July to 9.1% in August. The number of unemployed Ohioans grew by 7,000. The number of employed Ohioans shrank by 700.
Governor John Kasich was elected by hammering incumbent Governor Ted Strickland over jobs, even though Ohio was in the middle of what would be a fourteen-month consistently drop in unemployment and the fact that Ohio’s unemployment rate had fallen below the national rate by November (Ohio’s unemployment rate hadn’t been below the national rate before then since October 2002).
In May, the trend stopped when the unemployment rate stayed flat, and then went into this three-month trend of rising unemployment. The Kasich Administration has been trying to defend themselves from these unemployment reports by claiming that it’s going up because more people are re-entering the labor market trying to find work. That is patently false.
According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, while it is true that nationally the labor market has been growing, that is not the case in Ohio. In August, another 4,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor force in August. That’s on top of the 30,000 that had dropped out of the labor market since May when the unemployment rate flatlined. August was a double digit percentage drop in the labor market. There wasn’t a single month in the past three in which the labor market did not shrink. Kasich’s defense against Ohio’s growing unemployment rate defies the economic data. In fact, if you look at the labor market data for the year so far, you quickly realize that virtually all of the drop in the labor market participation population so far this year occurred during the same three months Ohio’s unemployment went up. If those 4,000 Ohioans who dropped out of the labor market hadn’t, we would have actually seen a much steeper increase in the unemployment rate.
And unlike the situation with Strickland during the 2000-2009 recession, Kasich can’t point to national trends to justify it either. Nationally, the unemployment rate has stayed flat and actually gone down during this same three-month time period. Again, nationally, Americans are reentering the labor market, not leaving it. But unlike in Ohio, nationally we saw 331,000 Americans find new employment in August.
John Kasich isn’t getting the jobs done.
The good news? Government wasn’t the leading sector of job losses in Ohio in August. The bad news? That’s because it got beat out 2:1 by the manufacturing sector. While John Kasich and his allies have been busy rollback Ohioans economic rights, voting rights, and reproductive rights, Ohio’s economy continues to suffer. The reality is that John Kasich’s JobsOhio has been more focused on providing government subsidized housing for corporate office parks (Diebold, Wendy’s, Bob Evans all getting new shiny corporate HQ at little to no cost to them) instead of investing its resources into manufacturing and other ventures that would, you know create jobs. In fact, as we’ve pointed out before, Diebold can still shed upto 20% of its workforce and keep every penny the State gave to it to construct their “free to them” new corporate HQ.