State of Ohio’s Economy: Buckeye Institute July Report

The Buckeye Institute’s July 2012 Ohio by the Numbers report shows continuing positive signs for Ohio’s private economy. According to preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Ohio’s private sector gained 16,300 jobs, allowing the state to move up another notch, having the 13th fastest growing private sector since January 2010. It was 20th in January’s report. Ohio did lose 5,300 government jobs.

While 2012 continues to show Ohio’s private sector making gains and pushing the state’s unemployment rate below the national average, 7.2 percent vs. 8.3 percent, there are some troubling trends. Chief among them is that the labor force shrunk by 24,000 in July. In fact, though labor force participation increased by nearly 23,000 from January to May, it has declined by over 41,000 over the course of two consecutive months which leaves Ohio’s labor force 19,000 smaller than in January.

Meanwhile, a full recovery of Ohio’s private sector economy to its peak private sector employment numbers of March, 2000 is getting closer. Using the “boom” growth rates from the 1990s (nearly 95,000 per year on average), it will take until February of 2017 for Ohio to return to its previous private sector employment peak of 4.85 million last seen in March of 2000. However, that is an improvement over last month when the recovery date was projected to be March, 2017.

Overall highlights from the Buckeye Institute report include:

  • Ohio gained 16,300 private sector jobs in June while losing 5,300 government jobs
  • Ohio remains now ranks 13th nationally in terms of private sector job growth since January 2010, growing at a 4.7 percent rate;
  • Ohio currently ranks 46th for private sector job growth since January of 1990, growing at 7.3 percent (top ranked Nevada grew 84.5 percent over the same time span).
  • Within individual industry sectors, only Professional and Business Services and Education and Health Services continue to have more people employed in them today than in either 1990 or 2000.

    The report shows that Forced Union states (which includes Ohio and most of its neighbors with the recent exception of Indiana which became a worker freedom state in February) had a private sector growth rate far below Worker Freedom states. Since 1990, Worker Freedom states’ private sector jobs grew at a 36 percent rate vs. only 13 percent for Forced Union states (12.3 million vs. 7.8 million).

    EEven during the decade from 2000-2010, which included the tech bubble burst of 2000 and the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009, Worker Freedom states gained jobs for a minimal growth of around 0.1 percent while Forced Union states lost 5 percent. Since 2010, Worker Freedom states also outperformed Forced Union states, growing at a 4.4 percent rate vs. only 3.7 percent.

    Even during the decade from 2000-2010, which included the tech bubble burst of 2000 and the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009, Worker Freedom states gained jobs for a minimal growth of around 0.1 percent while Forced Union states lost 5 percent. Since 2010, Worker Freedom states also outperformed Forced Union states, growing at a 4.4 percent rate vs. only 3.7 percent.

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