The Ohio jobs report for October was released this morning. First, the good news: for the first time since enacting Governor Kasich’s “Jobs Budget” in June, Ohio’s unemployment rate has actually dropped. The “meh” news is that it only dropped a .1%, keeping pace with the national unemployment which also dropped down to 9.0%.
That means that since Kasich took office in January, Ohio’s unemployment rate has only dropped .3%. Over the same period a year ago, Ohio’s unemployment rate had dropped .8% (and had consistently dropped every month since February 2010 until May 2011.) Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped even though the State saw a small loss of jobs (-600 in October.) This after Ohio was second in the nation in job losses in September.
The hardest hit sector of the labor market continues to be the public sector which saw 4,000 jobs lost last month. Service-providing industries (which government is considered part of) saw a net loss of 1,300 jobs as losses were also seen in the private sector service industries of professional and business services (-3,800) and financial activities (-800).
Over the past 12 months, the public sector is the only sector in the labor market to see a net loss of jobs at 9,500. Yes, you read that correctly, not only is the government the only sector in the labor market to see net job losses in Ohio over the past twelve months, but 42% of those losses occurred last month alone. (Although the subsector of non-durable goods in the manufacturing sector also saw a loss of 2,700 jobs. Manufacturing as a whole saw the gain of 12,600 new jobs over the past twelve months (most of which were all gained while Governor Strickland was governor.)
Pretty much the only way the unemployment rate goes down when a State is losing jobs is the people are dropping out of the labor market altogether. Therefore, even though this is the first month since Kasich’s budget passed that the State’s unemployment rate went down, it only went down a negligible amount and the State is still losing jobs. Innovation Ohio predicted that Kasich’s budget would be a jobs killer, particularly for the public sector, and that has proven largely accurate.
There’s no such thing as “good” jobs losses. We’re not talking about cholorestol here. Even though the losses are largely in the public sector, the economic impact is the same as if it were in the manufacturing sector. More jobless Ohioans means downward pressure on consumer confidence and spending, which impacts the ability of the private sector to grow jobs.
We need to get back on the path to economic recovery we were on a year ago, where unemployment dropped because the economy was creating jobs faster than people were re-entering the labor market. Five jobs reports since his “Jobs Budget” was enacted, Ohio has yet to see Ohio creating jobs and lowering its unemployment rate, while people rejoined the workforce. That’s something we definitely saw under Ted Strickland. John Kasich promised Ohio he had a better way. He has failed to come anywhere near delivering on that central promise to his election.