I noticed this item in today’s Columbus Dispatch article reflecting on Kasich’s first year in office listing his accomplishments:
- Ohio added 45,200 jobs.
Last year, the administration of Democratic predecessor Ted Strickland produced commitments for about 14,900 jobs through the state’s job-creation tax-credit program, and Ohio added about 25,000 jobs overall.
Kasich’s spokesmen contrast Ohio’s job growth last year with the net loss of more than 400,000 jobs during Strickland’s tenure — which fell during a devastating national recession.
Now, let me begin by saying that the data itself is accurate. Using the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics seasonally adjusted figures in their CES survey (survey of employers as opposed to households), you do get those numbers.
But there’s context to those numbers that makes it darn near impossible for John Kasich to take credit for them. You see, you actually have to look at when those jobs were created:
You see, Ohio’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. So until June 30, 2011, Ohio was still under Governor Ted Strickland’s last budget even though Kasich was Governor.
In pushing the legislature to pass it, Kasich said his “Jobs Budget” was the reform-oriented group of policy proposals that would lead to job creation in Ohio. No other piece of legislation has Kasich claimed would do more good for the economy than his “Jobs Budget.” It’s where JobsOhio got its funding source, it’s where the State repealed the estate tax (although not effective until June 30, 2013… because otherwise the legislature would have had to find a way to pay for it.) It’s is the alpha and omega, so far, of all of Kasich’s economic policies.
Most of the 46,600 jobs that Kasich touts as having been created in Ohio since he took office were created before his “Jobs Budget” was in force. In fact, more than 82% of the jobs that were created since Kasich took office were created before July of this year (when Ohio was still under Governor Strickland’s budget.) In fact, over half of the new jobs created during Kasich’s entire term so far were created within the first 90 days of the Administration.
What did Kasich due during that time that warrants him receiving credit for those jobs? Nothing. (Note to any Kasich supporters: I challenge you to explain what Kasich did that makes him personally responsible for jobs created before he even had a State budget of his own. )
In the five months since the “Jobs Budget” became law and was in effect, Ohio has only created 8,000 new jobs (virtually all of which were created in November alone.) In other words, even in using the same set of data Kasich regularly uses to claim that Ohio’s created over 40,000 jobs this year, it’s clear Kasich deserves none of the credit as they were created so early in his term.
38,600 jobs were created before Kasich’s “Jobs Budget"; Only 8,000 have been created since then.
And we’re talking about roughly equal time spans. That means Ohio will need to create 30,600 jobs in December if the Jobs Budget wants to match Ohio’s job creation rate it had the six months prior to it becoming law. Think that’s gonna happen? Me either. So, again, how does this data support the notion that Kasich has turned Ohio around? I don’t know that, either.
Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped .5% in the six months prior to the “Jobs Budget.” Even after you factor in the November jobs report, Ohio’s rate as only dropped .3% since then (and that’s only because the rate went up in June, which was the beginning of a three-month streak of rising unemployment rates as the “Jobs Budget” became law.) Compared to the low points in April and May, and the rate has only dropped .1% below the bottom rate of the six months prior. Regardless, by any measure, the drop in Ohio’s unemployment rate has slowed since Kasich’s “Jobs Budget” went into effect.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s household survey (LAUS), the number of individuals reporting they were employed went up by over 19,000 in the six months BEFORE the “Jobs Budget." It’s actually DROPPED by over 28,000 since the Jobs Budget was enacted. (In other words, there’s a disparity between the surveys. The survey of employers shows Ohio has gained jobs. The one of households shows overall, Ohio has fewer people employed since Kasich took office. Both do show that things in Ohio was doing better BEFORE the “Jobs Budget” went into effect than after, however.)
And as for the labor population (the measure of how many individuals are working or looking for work), the labor market shrank in the six months before the Jobs Budget became law by 15,000. Given that it shrank by 22,000 in November alone, do you really want to know the number of how much its shrunk in the five months since the Jobs Budget became law?
Over 48,000 Ohioans have dropped out of the labor market since the “Jobs Budget” became law.
To put it another way, more Ohioans have dropped out of labor market in Ohio in the five months since the “Jobs Budget” became law than all the jobs Ohio has created since January of this year.
In short, it’s hard to look at the totality of the objective economic data in Ohio and say that John Kasich deserves any credit. Quite the opposite, it’s easier to suggest a negative correlation, and that John Kasich’s agenda has actually hurt job creation, rather than helped it.