Thousands of campaign ads will run on behalf of Ohio Gov. John Kasich this year trumpeting the foggy but alluringly false slogan that “Kasich works.” Who he works for is pretty clear, and it’s not for the average Ohioan. With RGA Chairman and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie campaigning for Kasich in Ohio on Monday, it would be nice if some reporter asked the duo why both states are among the bottom 15 worst performing states for job growth. According to the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University’s state ranking list, the Garden State is 48th compared to the Buckeye State at 37th.
New observations of Ohio’s job market, produced by one of the state’s most highly respected and rarely doubted analysts, George Zeller, show further improvements are needed so that more than 213,000 Ohio workers who lost their jobs during the 2007 Great Recession will be able to find a new job. In his newest crunching of state job numbers, he says that in contrast to nationwide data that improved slightly again this week and remain very positive, Ohio under John Kasich is lagging and job growth is too slow.
“Ohio’s 6,042 new unemployment claims in newly released data for the third week of September 2014 are now 0.4% barely higher than the 6,019 new unemployment claims that Ohio had during the third week of September 1999, the last year when Ohio had unambiguous job growth for the entire year,” he told OhioNewsBurea via email. “Thus, Ohio this week is currently barely in the ‘job destruction’ range of new claims that is currently elevated above normal levels.” The new data, Zeller said, extend a new streak to six consecutive weeks when Ohio’s level of new unemployment claims is elevated in the “job destruction” range.
“This report is designed to measure the point at which Ohio’s lengthy 2000s recessionary contraction in its labor market finally comes to an end as a result of the end of job destruction within the state,” Zeller notes. He adds, “Ohio’s current level of new unemployment claims today extended a streak to six consecutive weeks when the level of current Ohio new unemployment claims higher than it was in 1999. Thus, Ohio has a new six week streak with a current elevated “job destruction” level of new unemployment claims.”
Zeller observes that the number of new unemployment claims decreased over the year between 2013 and 2014 in all seven counties within the Cleveland-Akron-Lorain-Elyria Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area, but within that region, all seven counties now have elevated “job destruction” levels of new claims this week in excess of their 1999 levels. As a result of this week’s still slightly negative figures, five of Ohio’s seven large multi-county metro regions currently have elevated “job destruction” levels of current new unemployment claims, with only Youngstown-Warren and Canton in the not elevated “job growth” range. Columbus retains its unwanted position with the highest elevated level of new unemployment claims among these seven Ohio regions. The Ohio counties of metro Cincinnati this week retain Ohio’s second highest elevated level of new unemployment claims among the state’s seven large urban regions. The Cleveland-Akron-Lorain-Elyria retains this week’s third highest “job destruction” elevated level of new claims, he said. Current figures for Youngstown-Warren is the best figure among Ohio’s urban regions, with Canton second best this week. Youngstown-Warren has now experienced “job growth” levels of new unemployment claims that are not elevated for 126 of the past 163 weeks.
“The speed of Ohio’s recovery remains too slow,” Zeller said about this report as he has previous reports. “The lingering weakness is consistent with the job data in Ohio released for August 2014 on September 19 … Through August 2014 Ohio currently has a streak of twenty-two consecutive months with Ohio’s job growth rate below the USA national average … That streak was lengthened in August 2014 to a period of time that now has reached one full year and ten additional months,” he said. “Even more troubling is the fact that Ohio’s 24,400 jobs lost in July was the largest figure for job losses during July 2014 that was suffered by any USA state, and Ohio’s August job growth was a very weak 200 jobs.” Zeller further cautions that “the fresh deterioration in this week’s new unemployment claims is a potentially unfavorable leading indicator in advance of new Ohio job data for September 2014 scheduled for release on October 17 that will measure whether Ohio’s continually below average recovery is finally improving to national norms.”
Since Ohio has still not recovered more than 200,000 jobs that it lost as a result of the deep and lengthy 2007-2009 national “Great Recession,” Zeller says “it is discouraging to see today’s data on new unemployment claims that measure a continuing return to job destruction elevated levels of new unemployment claims in Ohio for six consecutive weeks. Further improvements in subsequent weeks are still urgently needed so that more than 213,000 Ohio workers who lost their jobs during the 2007 Great Recession will be able to find a new job.”