Employment data on Ohio job creation released Friday by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services was disappointing, as the state unemployment rate ticked up and job creation weak with only 6,400 of them created over the last month. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in April was 297,000, up 3,000 from 294,000 in March, ODJFS reported.
Job watchers judged the numbers disappointing, finding comfort that of the 6,400 total, 80 percent or 5,200 jobs were in the manufacturing sector, which generally pay more than retail jobs. “That is just about the end of the good news,” Cleveland-based economic research analyst George Zeller said today. Ohio’s year-over-year job growth rate between April 2014 and April 2015, not seasonally adjusted, fell to 1.25 percent compared to the USA job growth rate for April of 2.23 percent, a 56 percent variance. Meanwhile, the nation surpassed its pre-recession jobs number a year ago and has since has added close to 3 million jobs.
Where Are The Jobs?
“Very unfortunately, April 2015 was the 30th consecutive month when Ohio’s job growth was below the USA national average,” Zeller, whose reputation as a number cruncher is unchallenged, noted Friday. “The size of the gap between Ohio’s growth rate and the USA growth rate unfortunately increased in April.”
Zeller notes that a new, more accurate report finds that the upward revisions to prior 2014 months were excessively large, and that the large underestimate of Ohio jobs lost in the 2009 Current Employment Statistics estimates have still not been corrected. As a consequently, the monthly data are currently overestimates of Ohio employment, he says.
“The new April 2015 data find that Ohio is still recovering from both the 2000s recession and the 2007 ‘Great Recession’. But, Ohio’s growth remains too slow and is well below the USA national average,” Zeller told me today via email. He worries further that Ohio’s labor force estimate was also unfavorable, with the labor force figure decreasing 4, 000 from last month in the new April 2015 estimate, with a 2014-2015 gain of 34,000 in Ohio.
Job losses in Ohio since the June 2007 beginning of the “Great Recession” is currently pegged by Zeller to be 45,000, a large loss that have not yet been recovered. “Ohio’s long run 2000-2011 labor market recession continues to be another critical major problem that is still alarmingly and increasingly large,” Zeller observes. “Ohio’s loss of jobs between 2000-2015 in the new April 2015 data is now a large decline of -241,200 jobs, a loss of 4.3 percent of the jobs that Ohio had more than a decade ago. Thus, there still is an enormous hole for the state to dig out of,” he added.
Kasich Quiet On Jobs As He Travels For Presidency Bid
When elected in 2010, Gov. Kasich promised to make job creation his Administration’s central feature. With help from a friendly GOP legislature, he bonded out pubic dollars to fund his hand-picked, privatized and secret job group, JobsOhio, which was sold as the creation for jobs. Gov. Kasich now wants to be president, say he wants to do for the nation what he’s done for Ohio. His state model so far has performed poorly when compared to a continually improving national economic picture. Ohio is among the 15 bottom-dweller states in job creation, according to the W.P. Carey School of business at Arizona State University that keeps track of state job performance.
Ted Strickland, the former Governor of Ohio Kasich barely beat in 2010, who is vying with P.G. Sittenfeld for the chance to take on Ohio’s junior U.S. Senator next year, Republican Rob Portman, had the misfortune to be chief executive when the “Great Recession” hit, toppling it like it did nearly every other from 2007-2008. After all that, Gov. Strickland was still able to put Ohio on the road to recovery, creating tens-of-thousands of jobs in his remaining months, jobs Gov. Kasich took credit for even though his razzle dazzle by comparison has mostly fizzled.
Now among the nearly 20 candidates, both declared and undeclared, who want to be the Republican presidential nominee next year, Gov. Kasich is traveling to primary states, like New Hampshire and South Carolina, to boost his ratings, which reliable polling pegs at best are two percent. Meanwhile, national Republicans picked Cleveland as their national convention in 2016. Gov. Kasich could find himself unable to show up for the first debate there on August 6th now that Fox News has reveled its standards for being included.
Included in last month’s job losses are 3,200 local government jobs, a situation Zeller and others says is counterproductive to growing jobs. Ohio’s policy of “slashing Government employment continues to prevent Ohio from speeding up its slow and below average growth rate to a vigorous employment recovery that the state badly needs,” he said.
Gov. Kasich came to his position armed with a belief that private is always better than public and a motivation to further limit government by reducing its workforce. His claim is that he balanced a budget without raising taxes, specifically, his prized income tax. He doesn’t talk about how he did it, beyond saying it was about “tough decision’ making, and reporters don’t ask him to explain it. The answer is simple, he withheld billions from local governments and schools, who subsequently shed jobs, reduced their services or sought local tax hikes to compensate for what the state wasn’t giving them anymore. He crows about a $2 billion state surplus yet refuses to give back what he took.
The new data verifies the continuation of an very slow rate of job growth in Ohio. “At the current sub-par rate of job growth in Ohio during April 2015, it will take Ohio 6 years to recover the jobs that Ohio previously lost during a combination of the 2000 recession and the 2007 Great Recession. That is extremely troubling.”
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