Asked recently if JobsOhio has proven its worth, Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said, “The numbers speak for themselves.” What she said is true and unfortunate. The numbers for jobs in Ohio do speak for themselves, and what they say is Ohio’s recovery under Taylor and her boss Gov. John R. Kasich, who are asking voters to rehire them again in November, is way too slow, especially for two politicos who promised voters in 2010 that they would turnaround Ohio.
According to new economic analysis performed by George Zeller, one of Ohio’s top data crunchers, Kasich and Taylor have more than a quarter million jobs to recoup to bring the level of working Ohioans back to pre Great Recession levels. It’s also unfortunate, now that we have Zeller’s detailed review of jobs data, that Ohio just isn’t getting the jobs done at a pace to bring Ohio’s workforce back to where it was at the start of the national recession that President George W. Bush also failed to cure during his eight years in the White House.
We now know that during Bush’s two terms, the first one in which he inherited a surplus left to him by the most productive of modern presidents, Bill Clinton, who created over 22 million jobs in his eight years, he finished with a net loss of almost one-half million jobs. Not very good for a president who like Gov. Kasich and Lt. Gov. Taylor believes tax cuts for the wealthiest paid by tax shifting to the least wealthy create jobs. If that were true, and economic history shows it’s not, America would be enjoying a golden age of jobs, but sadly that’s not the case.
In Ohio, Zeller tells us Ohio lost 12,400 jobs in July 2014, the largest job loss in July of any USA state. Further, July 2014 was the 21st consecutive month when Ohio’s job growth was below the USA national average, showing us that the dismal July 2014 job loss figure was not just a one month spike.
Also in a new Bureau of Economic Analysis report, Ohio’s gross domestic product is indeed growing, at 2.6 percent during 4Q 2013, but this means Ohio still trails the nation at 2.8 percent. “Whether that growth translates into employment and earnings growth for Ohio workers remains to be seen,” Zeller told OhioNewsBureau in an email exchange.
Ohio gained 51,826 jobs during 3Q 2013, but as Zeller points out, that 1.1 percent growth was below the USA growth rate in employment during 3Q 2013 which was 1.7%. Furthermore, “that growth leaves Ohio 257,961 jobs short of the number of jobs that Ohio had before the 2007 “Great Recession. So, Ohio is growing, but that growth remains too slow, and we have over 250,000 Ohio workers who still cannot find a job because our growth is still too slow.”
It’s been pointed out in previous reports at PB that the average wage of a job in 2013 fell in Ohio. “So, the workers who lost their jobs and who can’t find a new one are suffering severely,” Zeller notes. Meanwhile, more bad news greets workers with jobs. Zeller tells us that the 4,960,615 Ohio workers who still have a job are still suffering from our insufficient and too slow recovery from the 2007 Great Recession, since on average their wages are being cut. “So, the vast majority of Ohio’s workers are still being impacted by the slow rate of the recovery from the “Great Recession” in Ohio,” he told ONB.
The region hurting most from Kasich and Taylor’s inability to out pace national averages is particularly acute in northeast Ohio, where only one [Carroll County] of the 16 counties has recovered the jobs lost as a result of the very deep and damaging 2007 Great Recession. “But, this is also a problem elsewhere in Ohio outside the northeast,” Zeller says.
Now hard at work on the next quarterly package of job data points, Zeller says, “I can tell you in advance that things did not change much during 4Q 2013 in comparison with 3Q 2013.”