The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] released Ohio employment data for September 2015 Friday. The data, according to a leading Ohio-based economic analyst, “are highly disappointing and alarming once again.”
As Ohio’s governor runs to be the Republican nominee for president next year, touting he can do for the nation what he’s done for Ohio, the numbers he’s posted on Ohio’s scoreboard appear to make the case that he’s fantasy talking given his record to date.
George Zeller, arguably Ohio’s top number cruncher par excellence, reported from Cleveland that Ohio lost 8,600 jobs in September 2015. Zeller notes that there’s a “confusing mix of highly unusual revisions and corrections to data for previous months this morning.”
Prior to the release of the new September 2015 data, he said BLS once again implemented a correction to its seasonal adjustment data for Ohio in prior months. All months between October 2014 and April 2015 were corrected downward on top of last month’s highly unusual “correction” to the very poorly performing BLS seasonal adjustment model.
Moreover, last month’s August 2015 employment data for Ohio were revised downward by 1,800 jobs. It’s unfortunate for Gov. Kasich that Ohio’s September 2015 job growth rate is 1.04 percent, while the USA September 2015 job growth rate is 1.94 percent. Both the USA and Ohio growth rates slowed slightly between August 2015 and September 2015, Zeller says.
“Thus, September 2015 is the 35th consecutive month when Ohio’s job growth rate has been below the USA national average,” Zeller said via email Friday morning. “This is now only one month short of three full years of sub-par job growth in Ohio.”
Of special concern is Ohio’s employment losses in September of 3,900 in manufacturing, 800 in construction, and 100 in mining. As Zeller and other economists have long noted, the slow return of public sector jobs lost during the Great Recession is a big drag for a recovering economy. “Another large loss of Government employment of 14,000 jobs slowed down Ohio’s job growth rate by public policy,” he said, adding, “Of that loss, a massive loss of 15,100 in Local Government was the main problem.”
The job losses in September in Ohio were not offset by September growth in health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services.