Ohio by the Numbers – July 2015

Michigan Overtakes Ohio in Cumulative Job Growth Since 1990; Both Private Sector Employment and Labor Force Participation In Free Fall

The latest Ohio by the Numbers report (now available on The Buckeye Institute’s website) reveals a disheartening fact: Michigan has now overtaken Ohio in the number of private sector jobs created since 1990. Ohio was long ranked 47th in the nation in this metric, but has been able to take small consolation in the fact that Michigan was 48th. Sadly, the two rivals flip-flopped in July, with Michigan beating out Ohio. Hopefully this labor market trend does not carry over into the upcoming collegiate football season.

In other (bad) news, the number of private sector jobs fell by 10,400 in July after losing 8,400 jobs in June. The public sector added 25,300 positions, and over 21,000 of those new jobs are in local jurisdictions rather than the state or federal governments.

This ratio of 2 new government jobs to 1 lost private sector job is concerning because the government jobs depend on private-sector taxpayers, and if the number of private sector workers continues to decrease while the number of public sector workers continues to increase, the burden of those government employees will be borne by a shrinking number of private sector workers.

Unfortunately, the labor force numbers are even worse than the private sector employment numbers. After 14,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor force in June and another 16,000 dropped out in July, the year-to-date labor force growth is actually negative. Cumulatively, Ohio is down nearly 4,000 workers and job seekers since January 1, 2015, which is troubling at this stage of the recovery.

Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.0% from 5.2%, because less people are looking for work. The labor force participation rate again fell 0.2%, from 62.8% in June to 62.6% in July.

Worker freedom states continue to outperform forced union states like Ohio, growing 8.7% to forced union states’ 7.1% since February 2012. Michigan effectively became a worker freedom state in 2013 and is growing faster than Ohio.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Ohio lost 10,400 private sector and gained 25,300 total government jobs in July;
  • Ohio’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.0%;
  • Ohio fell to 27th nationally in private sector job growth since January 2010, increasing 9.9% (7th-ranked Michigan increased 15.5%)

Ohio currently ranks 48th nationally for private sector job growth since January of 1990, increasing only 12.0% (top-ranked Nevadagrew 106.7% during the same time span).

Ohio By The Numbers

Labor Force Report