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.