On Friday, the Kasich-verse went nuts over the May jobs report that shows Ohio’s unemployment rate didn’t move but Ohio led the nation in job growth in May. It was so impressive that Ohio’s ranking in job growth over the past twelve months is now 43rd in the nation and not 46th. Another site, using a very complicated formula, ranks Ohio’s private sector job growth since Kasich took office as 26th in the nation. That survey notes that Ohio has, under Kasich, “an annual growth rate of 1.69 percent. That lags below the national average of 1.99 percent.”
So, regardless of how super-duper Kasich things the one-month data that the May jobs report may sound, the reality is that over his term, Ohio’s job creation has been slower than the national average. Period. End of story.
Well, not really. Because then there’s also the issue of the quality of jobs being created and on that front, even more great news in today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer:
According to the same U.S. Department of Labor that released the May jobs report on Friday that Kasich is crowing about, a report it released today shows that on growth of pay and wages:
Ohio tied with North Carolina, ranking 29th among 50 states in wage growth for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with a year earlier.
The average weekly wage in the United States was $1,000, a 4.7 percent increase. In Ohio, average wages ($887) increased only 3.6 percent.
So basically, wage growth in the State has been growing barely above three-quarters of the rate of growth nationally. But that’s not all, the report also gives county specific data. Lake County, Ohio leads the nation… in dropping pay and wages. In Lake County, they’ve seen a 3.2% decrease. As one economist put the overall State picture:
"If we are 29th, that’s not so good," said Veronica Kalich, an economics professor at Baldwin Wallace University, said. "We could be seeing a greater number of people working in lower wage jobs, so even if our employment numbers are improving, it is not necessarily that people are getting better wages." (emphasis added.)
On a side note, thank god we have economists, or else we wouldn’t know that being ranked 29th out 50 is not so good.
"Even if GDP improves and corporate profits are improving, that improvement doesn’t appear to be going into wages," she said. "Labor is cheap, but it is not showing up in improved incomes."
Except that GDP isn’t improving in Ohio much better than before Kasich took office. In 2010, the Ohio’s economy expanded by 2.1% in GDP (the year before it shrank 5.7% in the recession), an amount of growth that candidate Kasich mocked as inadequate to call it a recovery. What was Ohio’s GDP growth in 2012 when Kasich was declaring Ohio’s recovery was an “economic miracle”?: 2.2%, 20th in the nation. What’s a miracle is that nobody in the media has called Kasich out of his delusional rhetoric yet.
And it’s not like Ohio’s wages were that strong compared to the rest of the nation in the first place. According to the report, last year Ohio ranked 30th in the nation in per capita income. Again, this is during Kasich’s “economic miracle in Ohio.”
But again, not all counties are created equal. Right next Lake County is Cuyahoga County, which happened to be one of only two counties in Ohio that had wage and income growth higher than both the state and national average. “Cuyahoga, with an average weekly wage of $1,020, saw a 5.4 percent increase, ranking the county 55th nationally in percentage change.”
But what about job creation?
Ohio did gain jobs in the fourth quarter, but also at a rate below the national average, the Labor Department said. Nationally, employment increased 1.9 percent. In Ohio, it increased only 1.3 percent. Cuyahoga, with a 2.0 percent increase, was the only Northeast Ohio county covered to do better than state and national averages. Lorain actually saw a decrease in employment, with a 0.7 percent drop.
But, what about that fantastic May jobs report, the Kasich fanboys shout?
The latest monthly employment data, in which Ohio’s 32,100 new jobs ranked first nationally in May, left many optimistic that growth in Ohio will pick up. However, the impressive showing was part of streak of volatility — begun in 2012 –including last March, when Ohio led the nation in job loss.
Again, so that’s why you need to look at long-term trends instead of just cherrypicking one monthly report. I mean, is Gov. Kasich really saying that his policies were designed to simply give Ohio one month of decent job growth? What about the other 47 months?
But notice something? Cuyahoga County is leading the nation and State in job creation and wage growth. Who’s the chief executive of the county government there?
Oh, right. That Ed FitzGerald fella. Maybe he should run for Governor or something.