The Buckeye Institute: Despite Good Job News, Ohio Still Trails National Average

Nov 16, 2018

Columbus, OH – Andrew J. Kidd, Ph.D., an economist with The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center, commented on newly released employment data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

“Ohio is on pace to have its best job creation year since 1997, due to Governor John Kasich’s tax reforms and the 2017 federal reforms. The private sector added 10,900 new jobs in October, with 3,200 new jobs in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities sector, and 2,400 new jobs in the health care sector.

“This job growth is on top of yesterday’s announcement by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that personal incomes in Ohio grew 3.8 percent from 2016 to 2017—an indication of positive wage growth for Ohio workers.

“Despite this good news, the state’s unemployment rate still sits almost an entire point above the national average. Which contrasts to the state’s last employment peak in 2000, when the unemployment rate was nearly equal to the national average and labor force participation was more than 67 percent. Now, for the fourth month in a row, Ohio’s unemployment rate is 4.6 percent with the labor force participation rate at 62.5 percent. This indicates the state is not attracting the young skilled workers it needs to replace retiring Baby Boomers.

“Ohio’s last employment peak was followed by a recession in 2001 and the Great Recession in 2008, and as predictions of another recession begin to appear, policymakers would be wise to implement pro-growth policies now to ensure it doesn’t take Ohio another 20 years to recover from the next recession.”

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