A month ago, Governor Kasich and his allies could not stop talking about the May jobs report because it showed that Ohio had the most monthly job gains in the nation. However, we pointed out that given that Ohio lead the nation in job LOSSES as recently as March, the May jobs report should be discounted as Ohio’s economy has shown volatility that basically has equaled a zero sum gain. For the past twelve months, Ohio’s unemployment rate has largely been unchanged as has Ohio jobs creation numbers.
Tomorrow, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services will publicly release the June numbers, but the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has already released most of the numbers, and they are terrible for Ohio.
While 37 states gained jobs in June, Ohio was one of twelve States that lost jobs in June. In fact, Ohio lost 12,500 jobs last month, second only to Tennessee. Tomorrow morning, we’ll find out if the May numbers were revised. However, the initial May numbers suggested that 32,100 were created that month. Now, assuming that those numbers are not revised in tomorrow’s report, that means 39% of the jobs reportedly created in May were gone a month later.
Ohio unemployment rate also reportedly went up to 7.2%, meaning that it has only dropped .1% over the past twelve months. Ohio’s only gained 16,000 new jobs over the past twelve months. While that’s somewhat positive, it’s anemic job growth. Ohio is the seventh most populated state in the nation. Yet, it’s grown fewer jobs over the past twelve months than Idaho or Kansas. Meanwhile, “high tax” states like California has gained over a quarter of million of new jobs over the past twelve months. Ohio’s job creation is so anemic, the U.S. Department of Labor doesn’t even including it in its press release reviewing the States with substantial changes in their unemployment rate or job creation numbers over the past twelve months.
Governor Kasich argues that his massive tax cuts for the rich are necessary to make Ohio competitive. And yet, his economic development agency, JobsOhio, admits that its more focused on subsidizing existing jobs in Ohio that trying to lure jobs from other States. And States that have actually INCREASED taxes (California and Illinois) have been creating substantially more jobs over the past twelve months that Ohio has. So we have real-time evidence that the argument that Ohio MUST cut tax to be competitive and create jobs doesn’t work.
But, who knows? Maybe the tax reform plan the Republicans in the legislature enacted with Kasich’s signature might mean Ohio can finally compete with Idaho.
[UPDATE:] Or maybe not.
While nationally new weekly unemployment applications fell to its lowest level in ten weeks, Ohio was in the top five States with increases in new applications. The State with the second largest drop in applications? California.
And as this article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer points out, Ohio’s job growth over the past twelve months is less than 24% of the national rate of growth. Also, noteworthy, last month Ohio shed 7,100 local government jobs while employment in state government grew by 3,400. And, hey, food service jobs are growing!