Throughout Ohio, many common jobs pay poverty wages
Posted May 01, 2018 in Press Releases
Last year, six of Ohio’s 10 most common jobs paid so little that a typical worker would need food assistance to feed a family of three — generally less than $26,000 a year. From the booming Columbus metro area to struggling Youngstown, too many jobs across Ohio don’t pay enough for families to get by.
In honor of International Workers Day, Policy Matters Ohio is releasing a set of employment fact sheets for Ohio's largest 11 metro areas: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, Mansfield, Springfield, Toledo, and Youngstown; as well as a fact sheet on Statewide Employment Data. Each fact sheet shows the median annual salary and hourly wage of the metro area’s 10 most common jobs in 2000 and 2017, and how far they went towards lifting a family of three out of poverty. The fact sheets also contain data showing which sectors have grown and which have declined since 2017.
“Throughout Ohio, not only are many of the most common jobs paying extremely low wages, many do less to lift working people out of poverty than they did in 2000,” Policy Matters Ohio Researcher Hannah Halbert said. “State and federal leaders are trying to create new barriers to health care, food aid and housing assistance. If they succeed, many of Ohio’s working people will slip deeper into poverty.”
“Examining statewide numbers, Ohio may look better off than it really is,” Halbert said. Although the state has recovered all the jobs lost during the recession, since 2007, 215,000 fewer Ohioans are participating in the workforce — pushing down last year’s statewide unemployment rate of 5 percent. Statewide data also masks deep regional disparities and wage stagnation.
“Ohio needs leaders who will make a renewed public commitment to working people,” Halbert said. “Both the nation and state have productive economies with abundant wealth. We can use policy to shape the economy to benefit working people. Only the lack of political will keeps leaders from passing policies to improve job quality, make education and training affordable and fund basic services like transit and childcare that help people work.”