State of Working Ohio 2005
September 15, 2005
In comparison to a generation ago, adults in Ohio are vastly more productive. Our educational levels, which have not risen quickly enough, still dwarf the educational levels of our parents and grandparents. And families are working many more hours, with more families having two working parents, and the average worker putting in more hours per year.
Despite all that, inflation-adjusted wages have been dropping for four years straight and remain below their 1979 levels, benefit provision has eroded in both the short and long term, median household income fell in 2003 and 2004, and employment levels remain a staggering 156,900 jobs below where they were when the recession began. The manufacturing share of employment has shrunk, probably permanently. Disturbing disparities endure and we’ve fallen behind on indicators where we used to out-perform the nation. In comparison with either history or with other states, Ohio’s economy has faltered. These facts, once disputed by Ohio’s establishment, have recently been used to justify policies that are sure to worsen the problems. This year’s State of Working Ohio points to more innovative ideas.
The Joyce Foundation supports Policy Matters Ohio research on workers in Ohio. The St. Ann Foundation provides additional funding for presentations and popular education on these issues. We are also grateful to the Gund, Nord Family and Cleveland Foundations for other support.
Please contact us if you are interested in having Policy Matters present to your group on issues facing working families.