Drilling the Numbers

- December 2, 2013
   

In our latest eNews, we weigh actual fracking jobs against industry claims, pull together recommendations to bring more and better jobs to Ohio, take stock of the labor market since August, examine the reason for the declining caseload of Ohio’s cash-assistance program, and send out a call to action to defend workers’ rights.

Drilling the numbers – Fracking has created far fewer jobs than the industry claims, according to a report by the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, a group of state-level think tanks including Policy Matters. The industry has exaggerated the jobs impact to minimize or avoid taxation, regulation, and even examination of drilling. The report shows very few shale-related jobs have been created in Ohio – if Pennsylvania and West Virginia are indicators of what we can expect here, shale job gains will continue to be very modest.

Working for everyone – State policy can help restore and create good jobs. It can drive investment in training and education. Policy choices can keep workers healthier and happier, help make work pay, and protect worker rights. This new policy brief pulls together our recommendations to help create an economy that works for everyone.

Too little, too late – The news wasn’t good when we finally got the state’s job report, delayed in October by the federal shutdown. Ohio has added only 2,600 jobs since August, and still had fewer jobs in October than in May. Over the last 12 months, the state grew by a dismal 0.5 percent while the nation as a whole grew at 1.7 percent.

Disappearing act – Work requirements are pushing people out of the Ohio Works First cash-assistance program, resulting in a sharply dropping caseload. A new work mandate for food aid is set to affect some 134,000 adults, challenging Ohio’s poorest families and the agencies that serve them. For more information, read “Shrinking aid for Ohio’s poorest families.”

Good start – In recent testimony, Research Director Zach Schiller told the House Ways and Means Committee that proposed legislation requiring review of tax breaks would be a good first step to making sure they are getting results for Ohio. But HB24 lacks key provisions that would make the review process more meaningful, particularly a sunset to ensure that tax breaks automatically expire if not renewed.

Call to action – Clevelanders will stand with workers on Dec. 5 to raise fast-food worker wages and get the economy moving again. Protesters will gather at the McDonald’s on Memphis Avenue to speak out against poverty wages, support the call for a $15-per-hour wage floor for fast-food jobs, and defend people’s right to stick together in the workplace.More information here.

Volunteers needed – Training is underway for people who want to prepare tax returns as part of the Cuyahoga EITC Coalition’s work for the coming tax season. Check out the in-class training schedule here or options for online training here.

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