Friday, April 1, 2011

Ohio Jobs and Governor Kasich

Ohio Governor Kasich has picked a tough policy challenge for himself, but far more with jobs than politics. Ohio ranks second for statewide jobs losses over the last decade. Only Michigan did worse.

Ohio establishment jobs are down a monthly average of 603 thousand in 2010 compared to 2000. The Governor's plan to turn jobs around looks doubtful. In the mean time the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes plenty about Ohio jobs to assess his chance for success. Note (1)

All of Ohio’s 603 thousand job losses came from the private sector. Ohio state and local government including public education is up by 5 thousand jobs, but losses to federal jobs in Ohio offset the gains. Ohio had 785 thousand government jobs in 2010, the same as 2000, even though statewide establishment jobs dropped from 5.6 to 5 million.

Ohio had just over a million manufacturing jobs back in 1990, which was 21.7 percent of statewide employment. Only 624 thousand remain, which is now 12.4 percent of Ohio jobs. The 9.3 percentage decline means Ohio needs faster than average growth in service industry employment to make up for the declining share of manufacturing.

Trouble is higher productivity restricts jobs in services not just manufacturing. Computer technology limits jobs in wholesale and retail trade where using computers for barcodes, inventory management and Internet selling raises sales per work hour and limits jobs. Amazon computers put Borders books in bankruptcy as netflix knocks out jobs at video stores.

Craigslist offers free classified advertising with a few dozen out of state jobs while fewer and fewer bother with the Yellow Pages. More enjoy the convenience of on-line banking from their home computer while fewer do paper transactions with Ohio’s 21 thousand remaining bank tellers. More use continuously updating Internet stock quotations instead of newspapers.

Computer technologies helped decimate trade jobs in Ohio, which declined 144 thousand since 2000. Information services like newspapers and communications and finance including insurance and real estate lost another 56 thousand jobs with them. Worse these services are like manufacturing because they have a declining percentage of Ohio jobs that have to be replaced by a declining number of other services.

In all, eight industry sectors defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics lost 8.6 percent of Ohio jobs from 2000 to 2010. Small share losses in construction, utilities, and transportation should recover with a better economy, but jobs lost to computers will not recover their previous share of Ohio jobs.

The biggest share of replacement jobs came in health care. Health care picked up 134 thousand new jobs equal to a 4 percent bigger share of statewide jobs. Government jobs including education did not increase, but government jobs excluding education picked up 1 percent of Ohio jobs. Even though public education jobs are off slightly, private education more than made up the difference. Public and private education jobs are up 1.1 percent of statewide jobs over the last decade.

A service sector defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to report jobs for offices of holding companies and corporate, subsidiary and regional managing offices added 23 thousand jobs, a .6 percent share increase. Ohio has lost so many jobs there were small percentage gains for utilities, transportation, selected professional services, accommodations, restaurants, and personal services even though all these services lost a few thousand jobs from 2000 to 2010.

Governor Kasich plan cuts spending and jobs in the principal sectors that did well enough to relieve the misery of statewide job losses over the last decade. Free enterprisers like Governor Kasich ignore the shift out of high productivity employment and the necessity of looking for anything leftover. Increasingly what is left are jobs in health care, education, government and a smorgasbord of low productivity services in accommodations, restaurants, business and personal services.

More health care means more jobs. Ohio desperately needs to keep its manufacturing jobs, but Governor Kasich and the Washington establishment ignore jobs moving abroad in search of cheap labor. Ohio has many jobs left to lose. Gains will be harder, especially with Governor Kasich on the attack.

Note (1) All job and employment number citations are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor, Current Employment Survey. No exceptions.


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