The Ohio Republican Party, apparently in the misbegotten belief that the governor has a credible chance of becoming president, has become quite annoying in touting the Kasich administration’s allegedly fabulous success in turning the Buckeye State’s employment situation around.
So let’s look at what has really happened, and compare it to other states.
I looked at Establishment Survey (company payoll) data for all 50 states and DC, identifying each one’s seasonally adjusted peak number of jobs, lowest job total during and after (mostly after) the recession ended, and their November 2014 employment figures.
Here’s how Ohio ranks in those three items (all supporting details are here):
- Ohio’s percentage job loss from its pre-recession peak, which actually goes all the way back to March of 2006, was the ninth-worst (42nd best) among the 50 states and DC. Those who suffered even more in percentage terms were AZ, CA, FL, ID, MI, NV, OR, SC and WY.
- Ohio’s job gains since its trough, which occurred in February 2010, place it in the middle of the pack. States with percentage gains exceeding 10 percent include (in high to low order) ND, TX, UT, CO, CA, FL, SC and WY.
- Ohio employment is still 2.29 percent below where it was at its March 2006 peak. That standing is eighth-worst in the nation. Only AL, MS, NV, NJ (ahem, Chris Christie), NM, RI and WY have seen worse results in recovering lost employment.
- The “U.S. Exc. Texas” figures are there as a special gift to a fever-swamp Ohio blogger who used to pose as a journalist. Without Texas, which has governed itself in direct opposition to how the federal government has managed its financial affairs, we would only have the barest (+0.17%) of job recovery since all states’ combined pre-recession peaks. If all states had mimicked Washington, there’s no way we’d have an overall jobs recovery yet. (And yes, I’m aware that the current “jobs recovery” includes far more part-time and far fewer full-time jobs — so even what we have isn’t anything calling for any level of satisfaction, let alone celebration.)
Why Ohio’s employment results are anything to crow about is a mystery to me — especially after you consider that Metro Columbus, though its employment growth has slowed during the past 12 months, has still gotten a disproportionate percentage of Kasich-era job growth.
Some may criticize me for looking at total employment instead of private-sector employment. Well, I have news: Contrary to conveyed impressions, seasonally adjusted state employment has grown by 4,600 since December 2010, when the “New Way, New Day” crowd arrived.