The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released June 2016 data on Ohio employment and unemployment. While experts called the data mixed, what wasn’t mixed is that Ohio Gov. John Kasich has extended his sub-par job performance streak to 43 straight months.
According to statistical information analyzed by Ohio’s preeminent job number cruncher, the year over year June 2016 Ohio job growth rate is now 1.72 percent, just under the national rate of 1.77 percent. “Thus, by a narrow margin, June 2016 is the 43rd consecutive month when Ohio’s job growth was slower than the USA national average,” George Zeller said in Cleveland. “That unfortunate streak has now been extended to three full years and 7 additional months.”
In Ohio, the civilian labor force declined by 16,000 in June, while the national civilian labor force increased by a large 414,000. In the Ohio data, Mr. Zeller finds that the number of unemployed in Ohio fell by 9,000 in June 2016 while the number of employed Ohio workers fell by 7,000.
“Thus the 2,000 net improvement in this estimate is far below the 12,400 jobs that Ohio actually gained in June 2016,” Mr. Zeller said, adding caution, saying, “the June 2016 unemployment estimate in Ohio is far less accurate than the June 2016 Ohio job figure.”
Some expressed concern that most of the job growth last month was in government employment, which increased by 9,600 jobs in local (5,100), state (4,100), and federal (400) government positions. “When state government is the leader in new jobs, that is a bad sign that Ohio’s real economic engine — private sector employers — has stalled,” Joe Nichols with the Buckeye Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Columbus, told the Dayton Daily News.
Nichols noted that even the gain in government employment may be short-lived because of Ohio’s recently announced $1.1 billion budget gap. Nichols said the next state budget has a $1.1 billion budget hole from losing Medicaid tax revenue. “That’s going to affect counties as well as the state,” he said, “So the question is whether it’s really good for the local government or state government to be doing all this hiring when they might have to cut jobs when the budget comes out because of lost tax revenue.”
Gov. Kasich only likes private sector jobs, and has said so time and time again. Many of the jobs lost during the Great Recession were public sector jobs, but Ohio leaders don’t seem to care, and in fact find it troublesome, as Joe Nichols said, that government jobs are on the rebound.
Now that John Kasich has nothing else to do other than serving out his final two years at governor, he should refocus on creating enough good paying jobs for all the Ohioans who need one. As Republicans depart Cleveland, where they gathered this week in the run-up to nominate Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, John Kasich, now a term-limited lame duck leader, was out of sight but not out of mind.
He was out of sight in the Quicken Loans Arena, site of the GOP’s national nominating convention, but he wasn’t out of mind for Donald Trump and his team who mocked and ridiculed the 64-year old leader whose days on the national stage have now come and gone twice.
The Donald shook Kasich’s tree again at a gathering of GOP donors ahead of his acceptance speech last night. In comments that were recorded and reported on by Politico, the “blue collar billionaire” said John Kasich was irrelevant and not a factor. Later a spokesman for Mr. Trump said leaks from unnamed Kasich campaign staff to The Columbus Dispatch, a newspaper that’s been in the tank for the governor, that Trump offered him the vice presidency was bunk.
For the record, Trump sources told CNN that they never considered Kasich, and that “his [Kasich’s] background read like a ‘trashy novel.’” Trump spokesman Jason Miller told CNN about what unnamed Kasich sources said, “It’s completely ridiculous. There was never an offer made. It’s completely made up.”