Out of the Cellar but Far From Leading the Nation

That’s the general message coming out from the Buckeye Institute’s latest Ohio by the Numbers (OBN) report that is now available online.

OBN compares Ohio to other states in overall private sector job growth over several distinct time spans. The goal is to illustrate Ohio’s overall economic trajectory over the past 22 years while capturing its specific performance during boom and bust cycles as well as its current recovery.

The periods analyzed are: from 1990 until the present day, from peak employment in 2000 through the present day and from the beginning of the current decade to the present day.

Ohio lost 6,400 private sector jobs in December. Ohio ranked 21st nationally in terms of private sector job growth since January 2010, growing at 2.6 percent (top ranked North Dakota grew 12.3 percent over the same time span). Meanwhile, Ohio continued to rank 47th for private sector job growth since January of 1990, growing at 5 percent (top ranked Nevada grew 81 percent over the same time span).

Ohio’s total non-farm, non-government employment, as it has since June, continued to remain between 4.34 and 4.35 million jobs. By contrast, Ohio’s peak employment in March of 2000 was 4.85 million.

Assuming the “Best Case Recovery” scenario of a private sector growth rate similar to the 1990s boom, Ohio will not recover to peak employment (March 2000) until March 2017. This is one month behind the trajectory seen in the November report. It is more likely that peak employment will not return until the early 2020s.

As for individual industry sectors, only Education and Health Services has a larger number of people employed than it did in either 1990 or 2000.

Additionally, the report shows that Forced Union states (which includes Ohio and most of its neighbors with the recent exception of Indiana) had a private sector growth rate far below Worker Freedom states. Since 1990, Worker Freedom states’ private sector jobs grew at a 31 percent rate vs. only 16 percent for Forced Union states. Since 2010, Worker Freedom states also outperformed Forced Union states, growing a at 2.9 percent rate vs. only 2.4 percent.

Greg R. Lawson

About Greg R. Lawson

Greg R. Lawson is the Statehouse Liaison and Policy Analyst with the Buckeye Institute
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