Information released Friday by The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services [ODJFS] along with updated job figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for May show that for the 42nd straight month under the administration of Gov. John Kasich, Ohio still cannot meet or beat the national job creation average.
The data was mixed, according to Ohio’s preeminent job-number cruncher, who noted that the Buckeye State gained 9,200 jobs in May 2016. but 200 jobs contained in the data came from a downward revision to last month’s April 2016 data, both seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted.
What was especially disappointing to George Zeller of Cleveland was the loss of 3,100 manufacturing jobs. Of that sum, 5,200 lost jobs were in high wage durable goods Manufacturing.
Mr. Zeller pointed out via email today that the state’s year-over-year job growth rate not seasonally adjusted was 1.22 percent during May 2016. The USA job growth rate during May 2016, by comparison, was 1.66 percent. Zeller noted that both the Ohio growth rate and the USA job growth rate slowed in comparison to the downwardly revised April 2016 job growth rate last month.
“As a result, May 2016 is the 42nd consecutive month with Ohio’s job growth below the USA national average, a period of time now extended to three full years and six additional months,” Mr. Zeller said.
Gov. Kasich has long held that only private sector jobs matter, but as Mr. Zeller and others have pointed out time and time again, all jobs are important, including public sector jobs that have still not recovered from the massive loss of them throughout the Great Recession of 2007-2009. In Ohio, May figures reflect a loss of another 900 government jobs, which include 4,700 lost in local government.
Zeller correctly opines that “The counterproductive policy of slowing down the Ohio recovery by cutting Government during a bad recession continues,” citing comments yesterday from Morgan Stanley that criticized the United States for not supplementing monetary policy at the Federal Reserve with stimulative fiscal policy at the government. The International Monetary Fund issued the same criticism of the United States earlier this week, Zeller added.
Ohio’s unemployment rate declined slightly from 5.2 percent in April to 5.1 percent in May. In broad numbers, there was an 11,000 job gain in employed workers and a 2,000 decline in unemployed workers. Zeller’s analysis said the figures were “slightly too optimistic, since Ohio actually gained 9,200 jobs in May 2016, not 13,000.”
The on-going problem for Gov. Kasich and his jobs’ team that includes his well-financed, private job development group JobsOhio, is that Ohio’s current May 2016 job figure remains 149,400 jobs short of the total that Ohio had in 2000, a 2.7 percent decline in comparison to Ohio’s job totals sixteen years ago.
“We still have an urgent need to speed up the Ohio recovery so that Ohio reaches national growth norms,” George Zeller, whose statistical expertise in the field remains sound and unchallenged.
Ohio’s job gain during the first five months of 2016 remains too slow with only 11,400 jobs seasonally adjusted created.