From the Dispatch:
State leaders are trumpeting that Ohio had the most new corporate facilities and expansions open last year, the fourth time in a row that the state has placed No. 1 in the annual list compiled by Site Selection magazine.
The ranking can cause “site-selection professionals to take a closer look at Ohio,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “We’ve been battling this image of Ohio as a Rust Belt state for a long time, and I do think that this kind of recognition helps.”
Notice how Patt-McDaniel is very careful to not say, “things are still realllllllly bad out there.”
But my favorite quote of the article was this one:
Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, said the expansion projects should precede job growth.
“Capital investment is a leading indicator of job creation,” Fischer said.
Now, it’s very important to note that this is the fourth year in a row that Ohio has won this “prize”. It’s safe to assume that after F-O-U-R Y-E-A-R-S of being the BEST IN THE NATION that we’d be seeing this job growth, right?
But in the past year, the number of employed Ohioans has shrunk by 212,000 people. The unemployment rate has increased by 2.2 points to 10.8%. And the labor force has shrunk by 90,000 since the previous January.
The fact of the matter is this, if you can’t make the Site Selection data flow to the state’s bottom line, it’s just white noise and the “award” loses all sense of legitimacy.
Strickland has had four years of awards to build that bottom line and do you know what it’s gotten Ohio? A total unemployment rate of 17.2% for all of 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
By putting his entire focus on this award, and celebrating it via every public medium possible, it truly shows his cluelessness. Somehow he believes he is winning the battle between the states, even though the private sector revenues funding state coffers is in massive decline.
Let’s look at it another way. The magazine measured each state in the union and divided them by region. Of the five states in Ohio’s region, Wisconsin measured the worst with the number of expansions equaling a measly 1/9th of Ohio’s total. And yet, at the end of 2009, Wisconsin’s employment rate was 2.3 points lower than Ohio’s at 8.5%.
Maybe Ted can work out a trade with Wisconsin’s Governor. They can have the “prize”, if we can have their unemployment rate.
In reality, all this award gives Ohio is a fancy trophy to place on the Governor’s mantle and to highlight in his campaign commercials. That’s it.
Fortunately, 3BP was able to obtain a preview copy of the magazine cover that shows some of the other amazing items that impressed them about Ohio….