Gov. John Kasich loves to spread his peacock feathers showing how pleased he is with his job creation numbers, mentioning he’s now “created” 360,000 private sector jobs. That number sound impressive by itself. But when the numbers are put into context, the go-go CEO governor who thinks his record in Ohio is proof he can lead the nation sounds as out of touch on this key issue as he does on so many others.
New data from Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages shows Ohio gaining 69,953 jobs between 3Q 2013 and 3Q 2014, a growth rate of 1.4 percent – far below the 2.0 percent national growth rate.
According to Cleveland-based data detective George Zeller, this is a far cry from what Ohioans need to get them and their families back on track, following a disastrous recession orchestrated by Republicans like Kasich who want to bring back the combination of lax regulations and infallible belief in market forces that precipitated the bursting of the housing bubble, which has caused so much grief for so many hard working Ohioans.
Still needed: 168,636
Mr. Zeller notes that the gain of 69,953 jobs in 2013-2014 proves Ohio is finally recovering from both the lengthy 2000s recession and the 2007 “Great Recession,” which befell Kasich’s predecessor Gov. Ted Strickland. Further good news is that Ohio’s average (mean) wages of a job finally stopped declining during 3Q 2014, with an inflation adjusted increase of 1.4 percent.
“But, Ohio’s recovery remains too slow to make up for jobs previously lost during the very lengthy 2000s recession and the horribly deep 2007 ‘Great Recession,'” Zeller told me. “Ohio’s job growth rate of 1.4% from an increase of 69,953 jobs remains well below the United States job growth rate of 2.0% during the same one year period of time between 3Q 2013 and 3Q 2014. At this current slow rate of recovery Ohio is still 168,636 jobs short of a recovery from the 2007 ‘Great Recession’ and 342,417 jobs short of a full recovery from the 2000s recession. Thus, hundreds of thousands of Ohio workers still cannot find a job through no fault of their own because Ohio’s rate of job growth remains too slow and sub-par,” Zeller says boldly.
Mr. Zeller, who remains unchallenged in his data crunching, points to one “extremely troubling and highly alarming development,” that “Cuyahoga County failed to recover at all from the recessions in the new third quarter data.” The current Cuyahoga County job growth rate is 0.0 percent, he told me, measuring no current recovery or job growth at all. “The chief causes of the zero Cuyahoga County job growth rate are a year over year loss of 1,283 jobs in Finance and Insurance along with a continuing loss of 212 Federal Government jobs.”
What’s more perplexing to Mr. Zeller is that the data measuring no current job growth at all in Cuyahoga County “are inconsistent with a widely disseminated current theory that the Cleveland economy is currently experiencing a tremendous boom and resurgence.” To the contrary, Mr. Zeller opines, “Cuyahoga County’s current job growth rate of 0.0 percent continues a lengthy period of sub-par job growth in Cuyahoga County going back more than a decade to 2000. At the current rate of recovery it will take an astonishing 664 years for Cuyahoga County to recover the 108,936 jobs that it previously lost during the 2000s recession.”
664 More Years To Go
So when Gov. Kasich spouts figures intended to impress out of context, the wise will put them in context. Doing that, Mr. Kasich and his self-described “Ohio Miracle” are not the combination America needs to get back on the road to better times and earnings for everyone. At his coming out party on July 21st, when he becomes the latest candidate to enter the expanding stable of GOP White House wannabes who would turn back the hands of time on everything progressive that’s happened since George W. Bush and Dick Cheney left the White House, Gov. Kasich will surely mislead by telling his audience he’s been called by the Lord to help others. Advocating wrongly for a federal balanced budget amendment experts say would be unwise at best and disastrous at worst, what’s at issue is how the governor believes he should go about helping.
With the first of many GOP debates scheduled for August 6th in Cleveland, Gov. Kasich, who purposely refused to debate his primary Democratic challenger last year, breaking a long tradition of candidates facing each other so voters can take the measure of both, may be excluded from what he doesn’t like to do in the first place. His national polling numbers put him at the bottom of the heap along with other bottom dwellers, including New York’s George Pataki, New Jersey’s Chris Christie and the always popular David Perdue of Georgia.