This morning we learned that unemployment in Ohio jumped up to 10.5% in October.
That means that since Strickland came into office…
- The unemployment rate has increased by 94%;
- The number of employed Ohioans has shrunk by nearly 376,000; and
- The labor force shrank at a rate not seen in over 25 years.
With the next election all about jobs, that’s bad news for Ted Strickland.
But is there hope? Can he finally turn things around?
In short – no.
In order for Strickland to have any shot in 2010, he needs to see the economy substantively improve before political advertisements saturate the market.
Unfortunately for the Governor, over the past three years the average variation in the unemployment rate on a month-to-month basis has been only 0.2%. In other words, over the past three years, on average, the unemployment rate has increased or decreased by only 0.2%.
Now let’s give Strickland the benefit of the doubt and assume Ohio starts turning around beginning with next month’s jobs report. So, if history is any indicator, the unemployment rate would improve by an average of 0.2% each month through August of next year (i.e., nine months down the road when campaign season moves full steam ahead and we have advertisement saturation).
At that rate of improvement, the unemployment rate would still be 8.7% – a full 61% higher than when Strickland first took office.
What if we get particularly generous and give Strickland the average rate of improvement from the best nine month period of economic recovery in Ohio since 1976 – January through September of 1983.
That improvement averaged 0.3% over nine months. At that rate over the next nine months, unemployment over the next goes down to 7.8%, or 44% higher than when Strickland came into office.
So you’re probably asking yourself, why all the math, DJ?
Because it shows just how bad things have gotten for Ohio.
Even if Ohio begins rebounding next month at the best rate it could possibly hope for – something that no economist in his right mind believes will happen – the unemployment rate when advertisements saturate the market next August would still be 44% higher than when Strickland came into office.
That alone is enough to convince Ohioans that Ted Strickland has failed in his mission to Turnaround Ohio.
And that’s Ted Strickland’s best case scenario.