It’s probably too much to ask elite national reporters to dig into job statistics to learn just what a poor job creator Gov. John Kasich has been, when Ohio media has largely failed to do it. Plunderbund, of course, has built its reputation on letting the facts speak for themselves.
New estimates of Ohio employment for July 2015 were released today by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. For the 33rd month in a row, the figures show Ohio isn’t the miracle Gov. Kasich thinks it is, as experts crunch the numbers in a new report available on the internet.
Arguably the best job statistic researcher and analyst in Ohio, George Zeller said Friday that the new July 2015 data show that Ohio, under Gov. John Kasich, is still recovering from both the 2000s recession and the 2007 “Great Recession”. Ohio’s growth, he says, “remains too slow and is well below the USA national average.”
During a two month combined period of June and July 2015, Zeller said Ohio gained only 500 jobs. That’s a much slower rate of growth than Ohio needs to recover jobs previously lost in the state.
The new June 2015 Ohio employment data include the once-per-year annual benchmark revision through a comparison of the monthly Current Employment Statistics survey data to the more accurate complete count of jobs that were released on February 6. These revisions went back a very long time, from 2014 to April 2000 in unprecedented fashion. The new figures are considerably different and far more accurate than similar figures in reports released during all prior 2014 months, Zeller notes.
The new report finds 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 yet to be corrected. As a result, monthly data are currently overestimates of Ohio employment.
The newly released figures, according to Zeller, find that on a seasonally adjusted basis, Ohio gained 14,900 jobs during July 2015. But, almost all of this increase, he says, came from a large 12,700 downward revision to last month’s not seasonally adjusted June 2015 data on state jobs.
Following the revisions, Ohio lost a large 14,400 jobs during June 2015 and then gained 14,900 jobs during July 2015 seasonally adjusted.
At the same time, Ohio’s unemployment rate estimate was estimated to decline from the June 2015 estimate of 5.2 percent, to 5.0 percent in July 2015. The USA unemployment rate estimate simultaneously was unchanged from 5.3 percent in June 2015 to 5.3 percent in July 2015. Ohio’s unemployment estimate in July 2014 fell below the USA nationwide estimate for the twenty-first consecutive month, but there was a good reason for that, and it won’t be a talking point for Gov. Kasich, who’s out selling himself to early state primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as a turnaround governor who wants to do for them what he’s done for Ohio.
What’s happening in Ohio, according to Zeller’s analytic prowess, is this: the workforce is shrinking, producing a dip in the unemployment average. Zeller says new Ohio employment estimates are more accurate than the more unreliable Ohio unemployment estimate again this month. Informing readers that the unemployment estimate is less reliable than the employment estimate, Zeller points out the ugly truth for Gov. Kasich.
“With the Ohio labor force figure decreasing by 13,000 in June 2015 estimate and by another 16,000 in the newly released July 2015 estimate … a large decline in Ohio’s labor force was the chief cause of the decline in Ohio’s current unemployment estimate.”
“The unfavorable and still unfortunately weak July 2015 increase of 14,900 jobs in Ohio was a continuation of other relatively weak recent months when Ohio lost employment or gained jobs too slowly,” Zeller notes.
“The new figures mean that the speed at which Ohio is gaining jobs during an economic recovery continues to be alarmingly too slow.”
Consequently, the newly available June 2015 job growth data establish that Ohio has extended a new streak of sub-par job growth to 33 consecutive months.
The new data for July 2015 find that Ohio’s year over year job growth between July 2014 and July 2015 remains at a relatively slow 1.58 percent. Simultaneously, Zeller notes, the job growth in the USA is still a relatively slow rate during July 2015 at 2.15 percent. “…Ohio’s rate of job growth during July 2015 was once again slower than the USA national average,” he said via email.
Ohio gained 75,100 jobs during 2012; 76,700 jobs during 2013; 72,000 jobs during 2014. So far during the first seven months of 2015, Ohio has gained only 15,200 jobs, an average of only 2,171 jobs per month. Meanwhile, additional revisions released Friday reveal “substantial downward revisions” to last month’s June 2015 figure.
“Ohio’s employment growth is once again below the USA national average, with a newly extended streak of thirty-three months in a row with a sub-par and too slow rate of employment growth.”
Zeller said that at the current sub-par rate of job growth in Ohio during July 2015, it will take Ohio under Gov. Kasich 3 years to recover the jobs that Ohio previously lost during a combination of the 2000s recession and the 2007 Great Recession. “That is extremely troubling,” he warns. Ohio’s loss of jobs since the start of the 2007-2009 “Great Recession” in March 2006 is currently a very large loss of 54,800 lost jobs that have not yet been recovered, Zeller said.
After losing 237,000 jobs between 2000-2015, “there still is an enormous hole for the state to dig out of … there continues to be an urgent need for Ohio to speed up the rate at which it is recovering both from the 2007-2009 national ‘Great Recession’ and also the far more lengthy and very deep 2000-2011 Ohio labor market recession.”
What should be of concern to Gov. Kasich and JobsOhio, his secret and private job development group, is that Ohio lost 2,500 manufacturing jobs. “During prior months Manufacturing has been driving Ohio’s recovery from the recession. Other industries showed continued weakness in July 2015, including a loss of 2,300 Construction jobs. A large increase of 21,200 Local Government jobs buffered that loss,” Zeller notes, which contrasts sharply with Gov. Kasich’s claim that he’s doing so well because government jobs are down.
“A counterproductive policy of slashing Government employment during numerous prior months and quarters continues to prevent Ohio from speeding up its slow and below average growth rate to a vigorous employment recovery that the state badly needs,” said Zeller, based in Cleveland. “This is still a serious problem, despite the unusual industrial mix of the weak July 2015 employment data.”
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