Unemployment in dropped from 10.7% to 10.5%.
That’s not good news.
Why? Because of the reason it dropped.
It wasn’t because more people found jobs. In fact, the number of employed Ohioans decreased since one month ago.
So what changed? To understand that we need to know how unemployment rates are tabulated. Plain and simple, the rate is the percent of the labor force that is unemployed.
The labor force is defined as those actively looking for work.
So in respect to our question, if more people give up looking for work, it can actually help improve the unemployment rate.
And that’s what happened in Ohio in the most recent unemployment report.
In fact, a decrease in the labor force was named as the primary reason for the unemployment rate decrease by ODJFS Director Doug Lumpkin.
But at the risk of being called a Cheerleader for Failure by Ted Strickland, the news gets worse for the Governor.
The participation rate in Ohio’s labor force is still a full percentage point below where it was a year ago. And it’s getting worse.
That means in a best case scenario where Ohioans start to get jobs at an increased rate, the unemployment rate won’t improve, and will likely worsen thanks to Ohioans finally rejoining the labor force and looking for jobs.
In other words, the chances for a significant improvement in the employment rate before the November election are slim to none.
Politically speaking, that’s horrible news for Ted Strickland. And it’s yet another reason why Ted Strickland is so forcefully avoiding discussion of his own record in an effort to focus on attacking John Kasich.
The number one issue in Ohio is jobs.
And that’s bad news for the incumbent Governor.