Blue collar jobs report: Ohio still waiting for Trump’s renaissance
Posted August 15, 2017 in Press Releases
During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump promised to bring back blue collar jobs. Six months into his administration, the jobs data shows there's been little progress toward fulfilling that promise in Ohio.
Since President Trump took office, Ohio manufacturing jobs dropped by 0.3 percent, or 2,300 jobs, according to Policy Matters Ohio’s quarterly Blue Collar Jobs report. Since December, Ohio added 8,600 construction jobs – thanks in part to a warmer than usual winter. Mining and logging added 100 jobs. Yet to return to pre-2007 recession levels, manufacturing needs 74,300 more jobs, construction needs 9,100 and the mining and logging sector needs 600.
“Ohio was one of the last states to recover all the jobs we lost during the recession,” Policy Matters researcher and report author Hannah Halbert said. “And when you consider population growth, we’re still not fully recovered. Depending on where you live or what your race and gender are, it could be even slower.”
Statewide, there are 64 job postings on the state’s job board for every 100 unemployed Ohioans. While Central and Southwest Ohio fare well with 95 and 96 job postings per 100 unemployed people respectively, Southeast Ohio, which includes large parts of Appalachia, has only 30 postings per 100. Northeast Ohio has 51, Northwest 48 and Western 65. For Ohio's African-American workers, labor force participation fell by 6.8 percent, while white workers saw a smaller decline of 5.5 percent. Male labor force participation fell by 6.2 percent from 2007 to 2016, but at 68.2 percent it is still higher than female participation at 57.4 percent, according to the report.
“On paper, it looks like Ohio has slowly crawled out of the depths of the Great Recession,” Halbert said. “But the truth is, many Ohioans aren’t feeling very recovered at all.”
Smart federal policies will help put more Ohioans back to work in decent paying jobs. A recent report found the nation should spend $4.6 trillion by 2025 to repair roads, schools, pipes and other infrastructure. But so far, President Trump hasn’t shown himself to be a true friend to Ohio’s blue collar workers, Halbert said. Instead, his Labor Department rolled back overtime protections that would have helped about 34 percent of full-time, salaried workers and is working to end protections for workers discriminated against based on sexual orientation.
“If President Trump wants to help workers, he’ll stop chipping away at their protections,” Habert said. “Instead, he’ll put people back to work and help make the country safer. A national infrastructure program is one way to move toward those goals.”