The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services again delivered bad news for many Ohioans looking for good paying jobs. The loss of 2,800 jobs in October added to the state’s slowing job growth rate, which at 0.91 percent again underperformed the national job growth rate of 1.56 percent, this time by 42 percent.
Ohio’s employment growth under Gov. John Kasich has been below the USA national average for 46 of the last 47 months, according to analysis provided by Ohio’s premier data detective, George Zeller, an economic research analyst based in Cleveland.
The number of unemployed workers in October is now 280,000, ODJFS reports. Over the last year, the number of unemployed has increased by 15,000 from 265,000 or 5.6 percent.
The new October 2016 Ohio employment data include the once per year annual benchmark revision through a comparison of the monthly Current Employment Statistics survey data to the more accurate complete count of jobs that were released on February 6th. These revisions went back a very long time in 2014 to April 2000 in unprecedented fashion. This year the revisions impact both seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted monthly data for the last 9 years in Ohio. Thus, the new figures are considerably different and far more accurate than similar figures in reports released during all prior 2015 months.
The new report, now far more accurate than previous ones due to new analysis techniques, shows Ohio is still recovering from both the 2000s recession and the 2007 “Great Recession”. After Ohio ended a streak of 43 consecutive month of job growth that couldn’t break even with the national average, it has resumed its poor performance wit a new streak of three consecutive months of failing to meet the national average.
After ups and downs that varied widely from month to month, over the course of the first nine months of this year Ohio has gained only 21,200 jobs, a much slower rate of growth than Ohio needs to recover jobs previously lost in the state, Zeller noted.
“Cuts in government spending during bad recessions always slow down growth by public policy,” Zeller observed, adding, “The end of this drag on growth by increases (instead of decreases) in government employment had the predictable impact that Ohio’s job growth rate improved in July.” Ohio’s unemployment rate increased slightly from the September 2016 estimate of 4.8 percent to 4.9 percent in October 2016. According to Mr. Zeller, “another decline of 19,000 in Ohio’s labor force was the cause of the slight deterioration in the October 2016 Ohio unemployment rate.”
State lawmakers and Gov. Kasich might want to rethink their proclivity toward austerity, since it appears Ohio’s 2000-2011 labor market recession continues to be another critical major problem that is still alarmingly large, Zeller advises.
“Ohio’s loss of jobs between 2000-2016 in the new October 2016 data is still a very large decline of -138,300 jobs, a loss of 2.5% of the jobs that Ohio had more than a decade ago,” Zeller told PB. “Thus, there still is an enormous hole for the state to dig out of. There continues to be an urgent need for Ohio to speed up the rate at which it is recovering from the very deep 2000-2011 Ohio labor market recession.”
Adding or reducing governments jobs is clearly a factor in how well the state performs. When Ohio adds government jobs, the economy picks up, when it loses them, it contracts. But there was some bright news in the otherwise gloomy report. High-wage blue-collar jobs in manufacturing increased by 3,500 while construction employment also rose by 3,500. Poor performing sectors included wholesale trade [-1,400 jobs], retail trade [-1,300 jobs], administrative support [-5,100 jobs] and support and waste services.