By Matt Mayer
President of The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy
With the March 2010 employment data, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revised its state employment data back to 1990 (www.bls.gov/eag/eag.oh.htm). As you may recall, our report, “State of the State: Two Decades of Weak Job Growth and Skyrocketing Government Costs Pose Daunting Challenges for Ohioans,” highlighted several sobering pieces of BLS employment data (original data from the report in parens below). The new BLS data paints an even more troubling outlook for Ohio.
Specifically, from January 1990 to January 2000, Ohio’s job market added 714,900 jobs (720,200), which was the 37th best in America. From January 2000 to January 2010, Ohio’s job market lost 635,000 jobs (544,100), which was the 2nd worst in America. From January 1990 to January 2010, Ohio had the 3rd (6th) worst job market in America — Ohio added a net of 79,900 jobs (176,100) over 20 years, or less than 4,000 per year (9,000) for Ohio’s 11.4 million people. This growth amounted to an increase in jobs of 1.9% (4%) from 20 years earlier. Only Rhode Island (-1.7%), Michigan (-2.2%), and Connecticut (-4.9%) had worse job markets.
As a point of comparison, in January 1990, Ohio had 714,800 (714,000) people working in government. As of January 2010, 781,900 (789,100) Ohioans worked in government. Thus, from January 1990 to January 2010, Ohio added 67,100 (75,100) government jobs. That means that for every 1.19 jobs created over those 20 years in the private sector, Ohio added 1 government job. This ratio is the 4th worst in America, exceeded only by New Jersey (.96), Connecticut (-1.93), and Michigan (-3.54).