The Ohio jobs puzzle

Governor Kasich welcomes Wendy's and 50 new jobs at its HQ.
Governor Kasich welcomes Wendy's and 50 new jobs at its HQ.
Governor Kasich's office

Ohio Governor John Kasich says his reforms should be judged on whether they create jobs. The last while hasn’t been kind to him on that score. In July, the state now reports, unemployment rose for the second consecutive month. It’s now at 9 percent, up from 8.8 percent in June. The rate had been falling – it was 10 percent a year ago, before Mr. Kasich took office – and now it’s rising again.

From the start, Governor Kasich has made a point of shifting resources from the public sector to the private one, stripping rights from unions because he said it would save the state money, and cutting the overall budget.

Jobs numbers are a funny thing, in that they rise and fall for reasons that aren’t necessarily obvious. Tucked inside the new Ohio jobs report are these details: Ohio now has 12,000 more unemployed people that it had last month. The state lost 400 government jobs in July, and 11,900 of them over the past year.

You can’t draw a one-to-one correlation here, by any means. What you can say is that those nearly 12,000 government jobs used to belong to real people who did real work for real wages that supported real families and helped the real economy. And now those jobs are gone.

Bonus stat: The state reports dropping 2,900 jobs last month in education and health, a category that includes teachers. Just ask the Cleveland school district, which this week announced it’s laying off nearly 350 teachers.