The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released new data on Ohio’s employment and unemployment through April 2016 Monday. According to Ohio’s preeminent job number cruncher, “The new figures are unambiguously terrible.”
George Zeller, a Cleveland-based economic analyst, reports that Ohio lost 13,600 jobs in April 2016 as corrections to previously released data for January, February, and March 2016 in Ohio were revised downward.
Kasich Extends Ohio’s Sub-Par Job Growth To 41 Straight Months
The sad news for Ohio following the new April data and the revisions to prior 2016 months, Mr. Zeller said today, is that Ohio has gained only 2,400 jobs during the first four months of 2016.
“Ohio’s job growth rate between April 2015 and April 2016 fell to an anemic 1.24%, while the USA national job growth rate for April 2016 was also a slowing 1.88%,” Zeller note. April 2016 marks the 41st consecutive month when Job growth under current Gov. John Kasich was below the USA national average.
Mr. Zeller points to a particularly disappointing large loss of 2,700 high-wage Manufacturing jobs, in Ohio, with losses in both durable goods and nondurable goods Manufacturing in the state. Equally disappointing, he said, was a return to large losses in Government employment, with 7,000 jobs lost in Ohio Government jobs, including a very large 6,100 lost jobs in Local Government, with smaller losses of 500 in State Government and 400 in Federal Government.
“The worst possible thing to do during economic downturns is to ignore the need to use fiscal policy to stimulate growth. Meanwhile, the only lever in use at the moment to stimulate growth is monetary policy at the Federal Reserve, which is threatening to increase interest rates,” Zeller, who is often quoted by Big Eight Ohio newspapers, said today.
All three prior months’ job figures in Ohio received very large downward revisions today, Zeller notes, concluding that “Ohio’s growth performance is alarmingly slow so far this year in 2016.”
Mr. Zeller said the “horrible April 2016 Ohio job figures wiped out prior increases, and once again moved Ohio to a position where it has 34,100 fewer jobs today than it had in June 2007, the Ohio peak employment month prior to the ‘Great Recession.'”
Ohio has lost 0.6 percent of its employment and has failed to recover from the Great Recession, he discerns. And relative to 2000, the situation worsened, he notes, as Ohio now has 230,300 fewer jobs than it had prior to 2000s recession, a loss of 4.1 percent of Ohio’s employment during the past 16 years.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Ohio increased from 5.1 percent seasonally adjusted in March 2016 to 5.2 percent in April 2016. Ohio’s top number cruncher said this was the second consecutive month when Ohio’s unemployment estimate exceeded the USA national unemployment rate. Good news, Zeller found, came despite the favorable news that Ohio’s civilian labor force increased by 28,000 as workers who previously dropped out of the labor force began to look for work.
“We seldom see such unambiguously alarming figures, but we see them in the new April 2016 Ohio employment data,” George Zeller said Friday.