On Friday, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released unemployment figures for the month of June. Grabbing headlines was the announcement that Ohio lost 12,500 jobs last month, the second largest decrease in the nation, only behind Tennessee. What should be concerning to the public and policymakers is that June’s number is another data point in a growing trend of sub-par economic data for Ohio. An analysis of Ohio’s unemployment data shows that from June of 2012 to June of 2013, Ohio only added 16,000 total jobs in the last year, an increase of 0.3 percent, ranking Ohio 47th nationally. By comparison, Ohio’s twelve month job growth is far below the national average of 1.36 percent and just a tenth of the rate at which Idaho has added jobs over the same period. In fact, only three states — Wyoming, Maine, and Alaska — experienced slower job growth over the last year than Ohio. [Read more…]
While the U.S. economy slowly starts to show signs of life, lawmakers in Washington continue to do nothing to stop an unnecessary drain on our nation’s economic growth. That policy – sequestration – continues to act as a strong headwind on our economy and to impact the lives of millions of citizens. Researchers at the Center for American Progress developed an interactive map that shows how sequestration is playing out across the nation and in your backyard. In Ohio, the sequester has led to reducing Head Start programs, the elimination of work study jobs for college students in Dayton, the closing of Section 8 housing waiting lists in Portsmouth, and much more. Zoom in on the map below to see where the impacts of the sequester are being felt in Ohio:
On Monday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer released a PolitiFact that examined recent ads by the oil and gas industry claiming to have created 40,000 jobs last year in Ohio. PolitiFact gave the ad its lowest rating — “Pants on Fire” — and strongly questioned the industry’s job creation claims. PolitiFact found that the ads overstate the number and type of jobs created and failed to disclose that many of these jobs may have gone to out-of-state workers. In addition, they found the fact that the numbers were based on economic modeling rather than actual surveys of employers undermined the veracity of the claim. PolitiFact also noted the high rate of turnover in industry hiring data, showing that even if Ohioans are being hired, the work is often temporary in nature. [Read more…]
In a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Kasich announced his surprise at recent reports that fracking developers in Ohio are not hiring Ohio workers and are, instead, bringing them in from out-of-state. The Governor seemed genuinely shocked and went so far as to say that these reports are an, “extremely serious matter.” While job estimates vary widely, fracking still has the potential to create thousands of jobs in Ohio. The Governor is therefore justified in his concern if companies are indeed passing over Ohioans to bring in out of state workers. Oil and gas companies are expected to make tremendous profit from leveraging Ohio’s resources, and working Ohioans should share in the expansion. As the Governor put it:
You could have a situation where we are not getting the jobs, they [oil and gas developers] are taking the resources, and all their profits and they are heading home.Nearly a year ago, Innovation Ohio warned the policy makers about this prospect. We urged Governor Kasich and lawmakers to introduce “Hire Ohio” incentives that could create financial incentives such as reduced tax rates for companies meeting a goal of hiring a specific percentage of their workforce from Ohio. While there are a variety of policy approaches to achieve this goal, Ohio failed to exercised its considerable leverage when Ohio’s fracking oversight laws were modified earlier this year. The Governor included no Hire Ohio policy in the bill, and when presented with an amendment to require 50 percent of workers to be residents of Ohio, GOP lawmakers set the measure aside. It’s unclear whether Kasich’s recent comments are a precursor to action or if he was merely grandstanding in his ongoing fight with the industry over severance taxes. But if the Governor is seriously concerned about the prospects of Ohio workers, we recommend that he ask the legislature to immediately pass Hire Ohio legislation that creates incentives for companies seeking to extract Ohio’s natural resources to do it with a labor force made up largely of Ohioans.
If you’ve been following the blog over the past couple of days, you know we – along with the Center for American Progress Action Fund – released a report yesterday on how the Romney-Ryan economic plan would clobber Ohioans. Yesterday we talked about a few kitchen table issues and we took a look at Sheldon Adelson’s seat at the king’s table where Romney’s tax policies are concerned. Today we’re talking about jobs. Unfortunately, there’s not anything concrete in Mitt Romney’s tax plans that would increase hiring in Ohio. In fact, there’s one huge policy that would inevitably encourage more jobs to move overseas. In the short video below, Tom Perriello, president of CAP-Action, explains how Romney wants to “repatriate” hundreds of billions of dollars U.S. investors and corporations are holding offshore. This money is profits from overseas. If they bring that money back here to the U.S., they would have to pay taxes. Romney wants to give them a tax-free holiday and then make it permanent. That would mean U.S. corporations and investors could operate overseas tax free here in the U.S. They could bring their cash back while they ship more jobs to places like India and China. When was the last time you got a tax holiday?