Ohio Unemployment is Nearing Historical Highs
Posted September 05, 2011 in Press Releases
The state's decline in wages is even more dramatic
A new report on the workforce in Ohio shows the state is hitting some historical
highs. But while everyone can agree this is bad news, Ohio Public Radio’s Karen
Kasler has two different views on those figures.
This Labor Day is nothing to celebrate if you’re looking at Ohio’s jobless rate,
says Amy Hanauer with Policy Matters Ohio.
“Male employment levels are the lowest they’ve ever been since they’ve been
keeping track. Long term unemployment as a percentage of the unemployed is
the highest it’s ever been, and our wages in Ohio seem to be going down more
quickly than in any other state.”
Hanauer says median hourly wages declined more in Ohio than in any other state
between 2000 and 2010. Overall, it’s a report that Hanauer describes as dismal.
“We’re really getting away from making sure that every Ohioan can contribute to
and benefit from our economy.”
And a well known conservative economist agrees with Hanauer, at least about the
statistics. Richard Vedder is a distinguished professor of economic at Ohio
University. He says the report’s claims that jobless among men and long term
unemployment are at historical highs are on target, and he says while he hasn’t
checked it, it’s entirely plausible that Ohio has seen the worst wage declines in
the nation. But he has a different conclusion.
“The reason the numbers are so dismal is businesses lack confidence. They’re
scared, they’re afraid of hiring workers because they don’t know what the future
would be because of federal policies and until fairly recently I think state policies.”
As she looks over the numbers, Hanauer says she’s most worried about the long
term unemployed and the impact of that over time.
“We’re finding that certain workers have lost their jobs and just cannot get back
into the labor market