Today we learned Ohio’s unemployment rate is still stuck in the double digits – 10.3%.
This is the 16th straight month of where unemployment has topped 10%.
Overall, employment increased by 1,800. And, to be fair, private sector jobs seem to have increased slightly. This month by around 10,000. Only about 350,000 jobs to go, Ted!
So is that 1,800 net increase in job growth the reason Ohio’s employment dropped ever so slightly?
Not so much.
When you look a little deeper into the unemployment report you find that 24,411 people completely left Ohio’s workforce in July. That’s the largest drop, by far, yet this year.
In fact, that’s the largest drop since Ted Strickland became Governor.
Why is that significant?
These are people who have quit even looking for work. They have become economically inactive. They’ve become so disillusioned in trying to find a job that they’ve simply given up.
And when these people leave the workforce, they no longer count against the unemployment rate. It’s as if they aren’t even there.
Lucky Ted, eh?
Not really. While no one disputes a net gain is better than a net loss, from a political perspective these aren’t numbers that are going to sway hearts and minds. Think Ted is going to hop on TV and brag about 10.3% unemployment? Didn’t think so.
The other problem for Strickland is that unemployment is a very personal issue to people. No matter how much he may try to spin the realities of Ohio’s jobs crisis, at the end of the day one in ten Ohioans who want a job can’t find one.
These are voters’ sons and daughters, neighbors and friends. And they are seeing and feeling the pain that comes with unemployment.
And that ticks them off.
So when Ted tries to tell them things are going well and to enjoy Recovery Summer, that clearly isn’t going to really resonate.
And the news gets worse for Ted. These numbers aren’t going anywhere for at least a month when the next report comes out. That means yet another four weeks of his opposition ripping him apart on the issue that matters most to Ohioans. And does anyone expect the next report to be significantly better? No, they don’t.
If Ted thinks he still has a chance, it won’t be because of Ohio jobs.