Ohio’s Low-Wage Recovery

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Research Overview

While much has been made of state job gains and reductions in the state’s unemployment rate, Ohio’s economy employs nearly 140,000 workers than it did prior to the 2008 recession. Innovation Ohio sought to explore the jobs that have been created during the state’s recovery and see whether they are comparable to those that were lost.

By reviewing occupational employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2007 to 2013, we found that:

  • Prior to the start of the recession in 2007, 33% of Ohioans were employed in occupations that pay, on average, more than $20 per hour, 39% in jobs paying between $13.40 and $19.99, and just 28% in jobs paying $7.00-$13.39 hourly.
  • At the end of 2013, low-wage occupations had jumped to 36% of Ohio employment, while medium-paying jobs fell to 34% and high-wage occupations dropped to 31%.

Digging deeper into the numbers, we found that all the job gains in Ohio have come from low-wage occupations. Employment in high and medium wage occupations declined during the recession and continued to fall as the recovery began. Low wage professions now represent 36% of the state’s employment, up from 28% in 2007.

Read the report.

Read the press release.

Acknowledgements

Heather Madonia, Ph.D. candidate, Northwestern University served as principal researcher in preparing this analysis.