IOEF Analysis: Ohio Job Growth Stalling

For Immediate Release: August 1, 2013
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833

OHIO JOB GROWTH STALLING
IO Analysis Shows No “Ohio Miracle”; State Ranks 47th In Nation Just 16,000 New Jobs Created in Past Year

Columbus — The Innovation Ohio Education Fund (IOEF) today released an analysis showing that Ohio job growth has stalled over the past year, with just 16,000 new jobs created between June, 2012 and June, 2013.  Ohio’s job performance over the year was 82% lower than the national average, and the state now ranks 47th in the nation.  Only Maine, Wyoming and Alaska have poorer yearly growth rates than Ohio’s 0.309%.  Read the analysis here.

The data used by the IOEF was generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and tracks seasonally-adjusted non-farm employment in all 50 states.

When BLS issued its monthly jobs report last month, many Ohio media outlets focused only on Ohio’s dismal June numbers, which showed a loss of 12,500 jobs — the second worst performance in the country next to Tennessee.

But because monthly jobs numbers fluctuate so wildly (Ohio had a terrible June, a good May and a horrible March), IO decided to look beyond the monthly numbers and dig deeper into BLS data in order to examine the state’s performance over time.

Said Innovation Ohio Communications Director Dale Butland:

“Gov. Kasich and his allies continue to credit their own budget and economic policies for what the Governor calls an ‘Ohio miracle.’  But objective data from the non-partisan BLS paints a decidedly different picture.   Ohio’s job growth is not just stagnant; over the past year it’s fallen far behind that of most other states.  Indeed, Ohio now ranks 47th in the country.

“What makes Ohio’s recent performance especially troubling is its precipitous drop from the year before.  From June, 2011 to June, 2012, the state’s job growth rate was 2.2%.  Now it’s just 0.309% — or more than 7 times smaller.

“All of this raises a fundamental question about the wisdom of Gov. Kasich’s tax and budget policies.  Of the 139,000 jobs created in Ohio since Kasich became Governor, 123,000 came between January of 2011 and June of 2012; in other words, during his first 18 months in office.  Just 16,000 jobs have been created since then.

“Gov. Kasich’s first budget — along with its accompanying tax policies — were not signed into law until June of 2011.  JobsOhio didn’t begin operating until July of that year.  So it’s difficult to see how the Governor can plausibly credit his policies for producing even the 123,000 jobs that were created during the earliest months of his governorship.

“Many observers — including Innovation Ohio and several major newspapers — have long argued that tax cuts which disproportionately benefit the wealthy, coupled with huge budget cuts for schools and local governments, is not a recipe for long-term economic success.

“In light of the evidence, we hope Gov. Kasich and his legislative allies will consider changing course.  In the meantime, it’s clear that Gov. Kasich’s claims of an ‘Ohio Miracle’ are — like  premature reports of Mark Twain’s death — greatly exaggerated.”