On Friday, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released unemployment figures for the month of June. Grabbing headlines was the announcement that Ohio lost 12,500 jobs last month, the second largest decrease in the nation, only behind Tennessee.
What should be concerning to the public and policymakers is that June’s number is another data point in a growing trend of sub-par economic data for Ohio. An analysis of Ohio’s unemployment data shows that from June of 2012 to June of 2013, Ohio only added 16,000 total jobs in the last year, an increase of 0.3 percent, ranking Ohio 47th nationally.
By comparison, Ohio’s twelve month job growth is far below the national average of 1.36 percent and just a tenth of the rate at which Idaho has added jobs over the same period. In fact, only three states — Wyoming, Maine, and Alaska — experienced slower job growth over the last year than Ohio.
While monthly job creation numbers can fluctuate, aggregate data show a trend of slow growth. As Policy Matters Ohio has noted, Ohio’s current growth rate is now significantly lower than it was during the prior year (June 2011-June 2012) when Ohio added jobs at a rate of 2.2 percent.
The Kasich administration likes to use the term the “Ohio Miracle” to describe what it suggests is a successful economic recovery. But these jobs number show that rather than improving, economic growth is stalling in Ohio. Tax-cutting alone hasn’t worked; lawmakers need to get back to work to implement conditions for real and sustained job creation.