Not long ago, Ohio was one of the leading states in job creation, and Gov. John Kasich was touting JobsOhio, as a way of bringing jobs to Ohio.
Fast-forward to December 2013, and it’s a different story. Recent studies peg Ohio as forty-fourth (of, obviously, fifty) in job creation and in the bottom four states in economic indexes. Ohio’s unemployment rate is above the national average for the first time in three years. Ohio household income is stagnant.
Cleveland State University‘s economic expert Ned Hill blames several factors. “We went from an auto industry complete shutdown to an industry running at full capacity,” he said. And while other manufactures joined the recovery, Hill said, “They’re adding plant and equipment, and they’re not adding jobs.”
In addition, the expected boom from natural gas and oil wells is taking longer than expected to materialize.
And Ohio is affected more than other states by political gridlock in Washington. Sequester cuts and the lack of stimulus programs are a significant economic hit to the Buckeye State, Hill says.
The top-to-bottom change will likely have an impact on the governor’s race. According to Hill, “The data are the data. … Whoever is the governor is accountable for the economy on that day. … It probably does” make the economy a stronger issue for FitzGerald.
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