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.
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.
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...]
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.
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...]
As 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.
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.
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.
The promised employment boom from shale development in eastern Ohio continues to be underwhelming. A new report released this week by the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University found that counties where shale development is occurring saw sluggish employment growth through 2012.
The report divided all counties in Ohio into four groups – strong, moderate, weak, and non-shale counties. Each county was placed into one group based on geological data and well activity. According to the report’s findings, strong shale counties grew at .6 percent in 2012, moderate shale counties at .5 percent, weak shale counties at .6 percent, and non-shale counties at -.4 percent.
The report also examined employment trends for 2013. In the first quarter of this year, employment in strong counties grew by .1 percent and moderate counties saw an increase of .2 percent. All other counties saw some sort of decrease in employment – weak shale counties contracted by -.6 percent and non-shale counties fell by -.4 percent
Ohio’s stagnant job growth continued through July. According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio ranks 46th in the nation in year-to-year job growth when comparing July, 2012 to July, 2013.
Compared to other states, Ohio’s continues to rank in the bottom five of all states for yearly job growth. On a year-to-year basis, Ohio’s job growth rate was a minuscule .73 percent in July. Only four states –Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Alaska – added jobs at a slower rate during the same time period.
News reports around the recently June employment figures have focused on Ohio’s loss of 12,5000 jobs, an Innovation Ohio Education Fund analysis released this morning points to a more disturbing, long-term trend. Over the course of the last year, employment gains have nearly stalled and Ohio has fallen behind nearly every other state in job creation.
- Ohio ranks 47th nationally in job growth over the last 12 months – only Wyoming, Main, and Alaska performed worse;
- In the last year, Ohio’s economy only added 16,000 new jobs – a growth rate of only 0.3 percent;
- Over the past 12 months, Ohio added jobs at just one-seventh the rate it did the year earlier.
Despite aggressive cheerleading to convince Ohioans otherwise, the data hardly show the “Ohio miracle” that Governor Kasich likes to talk about.
Read the analysis here.
Read the press release.