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.
- 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.
- The report does not find a statistically significant correlation – going back to 1945 – between the top capital gains or top marginal tax rates and:
- Economic growth
- Private saving
- Growth in labor productivity
- The report does find a statistically significant correlation between cutting top tax rates and higher concentration of income at the top.
This caution also applies to the CRS report: it’s not airtight statistical proof that cutting capital gains or income tax rates has no effect on growth, savings, investment, or productivity. Other things happening in the economy might have obscured any such effects. But there’s no evidence for some policymakers’ assertion that cutting marginal income tax and capital gains tax rates would have very large, positive effects on the economy.You can read Huang’s entire post here. Note on the Congressional Research Service: You’ll notice there is a link to the PDF of the original report from the CRS. Aren’t we lucky this time. You see, the CRS produces tons of unbiased, quality analysis of various and sundry topics of public policy interest to Americans, but the only Americans with free reign to the information are your 535 members of Congress and U.S. Senators. Someone was kind enough to liberate this report and it’s all over the Web. We shouldn’t have to play games or hope that some congressional staffer will “release” this good work which was paid for by our tax dollars. If you know what to ask for, your member of Congress would probably send you all the CRS reports you want, but then again, you would have to know what’s available. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Congress would just allow CRS to publish an index of their research reports on the Web with PDF links to the reports? End of diatribe.