Gov. John Kasich will look at the new monthly job figures released by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services [ODJFS] and see nothing but blue skies. Others whose look is more detailed will see lots of gray skies with small patches of blue.
Mainstream newspapers focused on Ohio’s unemployment rate, which rose in December for the second straight month with employers adding 15,200 jobs. The state’s unemployment rate inched up to 4.7 percent in December from 4.5 percent in November, ODJFS reported. As recently as October it had dipped to a 14-year low of 4.4 percent. Sounds good, right?
38 Straights Months Of Subpar Job Growth
For other experts who looked at the same numbers, their conclusion probably won’t be included in the narrative Gov. Kasich is dishing out to New Hampshire voters, who will be voting soon, Feb. 9, on which Republican they want to run for president. Mr. Kasich has spent so much time in the Granite State, where he’ll do his 75th town hall meeting this weekend, that he could qualify for residency and run for governor there.
The new December 2015 data find that Ohio is still recovering from both the 2000s recession and the 2007 “Great Recession,” with Ohio finally recovering the jobs that it lost during the “Great Recession,” Ohio’s preeminent number cruncher, George Zeller, said. An analyst based in Cleveland, Mr. Zeller adds valuable perspective, “But, Ohio’s growth remains too slow and is well below the USA national average.”
Zeller, whose credentials or accuracy in reporting has never been challenged, again noted that “Ohio’s employment growth is once again below the USA national average, with a newly extended streak of thirty-eight months in a row with a sub-par and too slow rate of employment growth.”
The new data show Ohio under Gov. Kasich’s guidance is setting new records, but not in a good way. Mr. Zeller observes that they show a “continuation of an excessively slow rate of Ohio job growth. At the current sub-par rate of job growth in Ohio during December 2015, it will take Ohio more than 2 years to recover the jobs that Ohio previously lost during the 2000s recession, although the employment growth during December 2015 finally establish that Ohio has recovered all of the jobs that it previously lost during the 2007 ‘Great Recession.’ The too slow remains extremely troubling.”
What should be troubling is that while Ohio’s year over year job growth between December 2014 and December 2015 improved this month to 1.54 percent, the job growth in the USA was unchanged this month at a still relatively slow rate during December 2015 of 1.91 percent. As he’s done before, Mr. Zeller notes, “Ohio’s rate of job growth during December 2015 was once again slower than the USA national average. This extended Ohio’s current streak of below average job growth to thirty-eight consecutive months.”
Kasich Ignores Government Jobs
Gov. Kasich only likes to talk about private sector jobs since he believes that government doesn’t create jobs. But government jobs are an essential part of any economy, a fact Ohio’s governor glosses over.
“A counterproductive 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,” said George Zeller via email. The report shows that state government lost 1,400 jobs last month. “Those losses continued during November after a larger loss two months ago in October.”