July 22, 2014

Ohio Ranks 32nd Among States in Job Creation

February employment data for state and local areas was released this morning and reveals that Ohio continues to lag most of the nation in creating new jobs. In February, 5.28 million Ohioans were employed, which is 50,000 more than the 5.23 million Ohioans employed at the same time in 2014. But it represents just 1% annual growth, which ranks Ohio just 32nd among all 50 states for job growth in the past year:

50-state rankings

This is a drop from Ohio’s rank of 27 in last month’s tally of 12-month job growth.

Governor Kasich continues to insist that another income tax cut is what Ohio needs to attract business and create jobs, but the data do not support that. Looking at job growth from February, 2013 to February, 2014, Ohio was outperformed by six of the ten states identified by the conservative Tax Foundation as having the “worst” business tax climates (look no further than high-tax California, which ranked #8 in creating new jobs).

It’s clear that tax rates in Ohio are not the only factor holding us back.

Ohio lost jobs in February, lags the nation in job creation

Today, February employment data was released that shows the state’s unemployment rate reaching 6.5 percent, its first dip below the national rate since July. The decline suggests job-seekers are leaving the job market, because the number of Ohioans with jobs actually declined.

In February, the number of Ohioans with jobs decreased by 4,600, with large declines reported in construction and local government. Job numbers for January were also revised downward. As a result, Ohio continues to lag the national rate of employment gains since Governor Kasich took office — just 4.3% compared to 5.3% for the US as a whole.

3.21.14 february jobs

New Employment Data Shows Ohio Still Underperforming

Yesterday, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly regional and state employment figures, showing Ohio gaining 16,700 jobs in January and the unemployment rate dropping to 6.9 percent. Also incorporated into the January numbers were revisions to 2013 data to reflect the results of the Bureau’s annual benchmarking process. The revisions are good news for Ohio, showing that 68,000 more Ohioans were working in 2013 than had been previously reported.

So, what can we now conclude about job-creation in the state since the recession? That Ohio’s growth is not as bad as it had looked before – when monthly reports showed Ohio consistently in the bottom five among states in yearly job creation – but not as good as it could be. Ohio falls squarely in the middle of the pack among states in adding jobs, and lags the nation as a whole in both employment gains and in reducing the ranks of the unemployed.

Here is how Ohio’s job growth measures up against the nation as a whole:

ohio-vs-us

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In October, Ohio’s economy continued to lag rest of nation

New data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) paints a picture of a continued stall in Ohio’s economy. BLS and Ohio Jobs and Family Services found that not only did Ohio’s unemployment rate tick up to 7.5%, but that compared to October, 2012, in October, Ohio grew jobs by a dismal .53%.  Over the last year, North Dakota led all states by growing 3.53 percent while Ohio ranked 44th – only five other states grew more slowly over the last 12 months.

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Half of Ohio’s House members voted to keep government shut down, default on debts

Late yesterday, a deal was reached to end the federal government shutdown and avert a financial crisis by providing short-term government funding and an increase of the country’s debt ceiling, allowing the government to make good on its financial obligations.

final vote

Notably, Ohio’s John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House, brought the plan to the floor and voted for its passage. In voting yes, Boehner was joined by the state’s four Democratic House members and Republicans Joyce, Tiberi and Stivers. Eight of Ohio’s twelve Republican Congressmen, however, voted no, joining with the far-right Ted Cruz-aligned wing of the party.

Eight of Ohio’s twelve Republican Congressmen voted to keep the government shutdown and default on the nation’s debts — despite warnings that doing so would be devastating to the country’s economy.

Both US Senators — Brown and Portman — voted to end the shutdown. [Read more...]

Government Shutdown will have significant impact on Ohio’s economy

For months, Congressional Republicans have threatened that unless Democrats negotiate over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, they will not pass a new spending bill to fund the federal government. Last night at mid-night, Republicans followed through on their threats and President Obama was forced to shut down the U.S. government for the first time since 1995.

A shutdown of the federal government will have real effects on the U.S. economy and here in Ohio. The White House estimates that a week-long shutdown will cost the U.S. economy $10 billion but that number could increase the longer the shutdown drags on. According to research released by Congressional Democrats, this shutdown will have significant effects on middle-class families and small businesses here in Ohio.

  • 52,000 federal employees in Ohio will be furloughed. These workers may see reductions in their pay from the time they were forced to stay home because the government was shuttered. This means less money in the pockets of these workers to pay for all sorts of services and goods from businesses in their communities.
  • A shutdown could delay support for a portion of the 186,000 small businesses in Ohio. The federal Small Businesses Association administers small business loans and a shutdown would put a stop to this critical source of business credit for thousands of small businesses in Ohio.
  • In Ohio, over 25,000 people are employed through the Department of Defense as civilian employees and half of them will be furloughed without pay while the rest would continue to work for delayed pay.
  • Checks for current Social Security benefits will continued to be delivered during the shutdown but it is unclear what would happened for new benefits or other services offered to seniors. During the last shutdown 112,000 claims for Social Security and disability were not taken. In Ohio, 2.2 million individuals received Social Security benefits in 2012.
  • During the 1995 shutdown, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed and it is unclear whether this will also happen this time. Currently, Ohio has 877,000 veterans who may experience some sort of delay.

Congressional Republicans’ demands to negotiate over the ACA are irresponsible and reckless and are putting the nation’s economy, and Ohio’s economy, at risk to advance their political agenda. It is time that Republicans in Congress stop threatening the future of Ohio’s middle-class families and pass legislation to fund the government’s operations.

Balanced Budget Amendment Poses Threat to U.S. Economy

This morning, the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee will hear sponsor testimony on House Joint Resolution 7, a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to ratify a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The balanced budget amendment (BBA) requires the federal government to balance its budget yearly, except in cases of “national emergency.”

This amendment, if it were to be ratified, poses series economic harm to the nation by stripping the federal government’s ability to respond appropriately to economic downturns and protect businesses and workers.

At the core of this issue is a fundamental misunderstanding about the federal government’s budget and its relation to the national economy and the states. The amendment is meant to prevent the federal government from spending more than it collects in revenue in a single year. In practice, this is very dangerous. [Read more...]

Ohio’s unemployed rate ticks up, now matches national rate

US and Ohio UE RatesAs you may have seen in news accounts over the weekend, Ohio’s unemployment rate ticked up in August to 7.3 percent. That is above July’s rate of 7.2 percent and equal to the national rate of 7.3 percent for August.

August marks the first time in almost three years that Ohio’s unemployment matches the national unemployment rate. In November, 2010 the national unemployment rate was 9.8 percent and Ohio’s was 9.4 percent. Since that month, Ohio’s unemployment rate was below the national rate for the next 33 months.

Ohio’s unemployment rate started to creep up in the beginning of 2013. Ohio’s unemployment rate in December, 2012 was 6.7 percent – since then the rate has risen over the course of the last eight months while at the same time the national rate continued to slowly decrease.

As we pointed out on Friday, the Kasich administration and its allies have spent months trying to push the idea that Ohio is experiencing some type of economic miracle – a supposed miracle stemming from their policies of cutting tax rates that mostly benefit the wealthy and slashing funding for public services like local governments and education. In reality, these policies have led to Ohio being ranked 46th in job creation and doing nothing to lower the state’s high unemployment rate. With lawmakers returning to work this week in Columbus, it is time that they consider policies that will offer real change and opportunities for Ohioans still looking to recover from the last economic downturn.

August jobs numbers are, once again, unimpressive for Ohio

Job growth in Ohio continues to grow at an anemic rate, according to the latest jobs numbers from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. When comparing August, 2012 to August, 2013 Ohio added 32,500 jobs, for a growth rate of .63 percent. Ohio continues to rank 46th in job growth in the nation- only Oklahoma, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Alaska performed worse over this last year. North Dakota continues to lead the nation with a 3.02 percent growth rate mostly due to an economy being driving by unique natural resources specific to that state.

Compared to neighboring state’s Ohio’s economy continues to fall behind. Indiana lead the group with a growth rate of 1.74 percent but Michigan was not far behind by expanding 1.68 percent over the last year. Jobs expanded by a rate of 1.17 percent in Kentucky, .99 percent in West Virginia, and Pennsylvania came in one spot above Ohio with a rate of .68 percent.

What started off as a single episode has now become a trend. For several months it has been clear that Ohio’s economy is barely sputtering along which is a dramatic difference from the economic recovery the Kasich administration inherited. While this administration can continue to insist that there is some type of Ohio miracle happening the reality of the situation is totally different.  Soon, lawmakers will have to realize that their policies of giving tax cuts to the wealthy while cutting funding to schools and local governments is not a path toward economic growth.

Ohio working women fared better than men during the recession

Last week, the Associated Press examined employment trends since the recession and found that nationally, women have regained the jobs they lost during the Great Recession. Over 68 million women are currently employed, back above the 67.97 million women with jobs before the start of the recession in December, 2007. Men, by contrast, still have 2.1 million jobs to go.

We were intrigued to see if the same trends were evident in Ohio.

As monthly data at the state level does not tally employment by gender, we looked at full year data from 2007, 2009, and 2012; 2007 representing the period before the recession, 2009 representing the peak year of the recession, and 2012 being the most recent available data.

Unlike their national peers, Ohio women (and men) have a long way to go toward employment at pre-recession levels. In 2012, 2.5 million women in Ohio were employed compared to 2.7 million before the downturn. Given the slow growth in job creation displayed this past year, it’s unlikely we’ll return to pre-recession employment levels when data for 2013 becomes available.

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