Ohio added 7,600 jobs in July, but wages continue to fall
Posted August 17, 2018 in Press Releases
In Ohio, 2018 is shaping up to be a banner year for job growth, according to Policy Matters Ohio’s latest JobWatch, making up for a very weak 2017. While the labor force is still much smaller than before the 2007 recession, the number of available jobs has finally made a full recovery from both the start of the 2007 and 2000 national recessions. Ohio continues to have slightly fewer jobs than in January 2000. The state’s 12-month growth rate of 1.5 percent is approaching the national average of 1.6.
A new report, also released today by Policy Matters Ohio, shows that jobs numbers only tell part of the story however. While Ohio is gaining jobs, its workers are losing spending power. Workers in six of Ohio’s 10 largest job sectors now make less than they did in 2000 as a share of poverty. Six of Ohio’s 10 most common jobs pay less than $13 an hour, little enough that a person working year-round and full time would still need food assistance to feed a family of three.
“Ohio has been slowly adding jobs across many industrial sectors, but the state still has far too many jobs paying less than a family-sustaining wage,” said Hannah Halbert, project director with Policy Matters Ohio. “The tightening labor market may help drive up wages, but the national experience suggests additional policy interventions are needed.”
The report identifies 10 such policy changes that would restore worker bargaining power, the minimum wage, and the 40-hour work week. “Ohio’s overall job growth trend is positive. Ensuring that the growth is accompanied by broadly held prosperity should be a top priority of policymakers,” said Halbert.