In all the news about Governor Kasich’s attempt to mitigate the political damage caused by the tragedy in Zanesville by issuing a meaningless executive order that most have concluded has no real teeth, another potentially difficult story got overlooked: September’s jobs report.
The good news is that Ohio broke it’s three-month streak of rising unemployment. That’s about as good as it got for Kasich. Ohio’s unemployment rate is no different than the national rate, which also stayed at 9.1%. That means after a fourteen-month period of consistently dropping unemployment that started back in February 2010 under Governor Strickland, Ohio’s now gone five months without a drop in unemployment. A trend that just happens to be timed with the passage of Kasich’s “Jobs Budget.”
Ohio lost 21,600 jobs last month, according to the survey of employers (CES), but the survey of households showed roughly 3,590 more Ohioans were saying they were employed. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio was second in the nation in job losses, after narrowly getting beat by North Carolina, which reportedly lost only 600 more jobs than Ohio. You know how Kasich has been going around the nation bragging about how many new jobs have been created in Ohio since he became Governor? Ohio lost 57% of the jobs it created so far this year last month.
This will be the last jobs report for the State of Ohio to be released before voters go to the polls to vote on Issue 2. If the vote on Issue 2 becomes a referendum on Kasich, then the fact that Ohio’s recovery hasn’t regained its momentum from last year is very problematic.
Unemployment dropped .2% during the first nine months of Kasich being Governor. Ted Strickland had a drop over the same period in 2010 four times larger, and he still narrowly lost. The Strickland campaign honestly pointed out that almost all job losses occurred during the recession. And yet, the Kasich campaign insisted that Kasich would do better on the economy. So far, the economic data for Ohio has stubbornly refused to show that Kasich’s agenda is working. Quite the contrary.