Saturday Stats: Numeric news from Policy Matters Ohio
Posted December 18, 2021 in eNews
12,200: Seasonally adjusted data released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) show that Ohio employers added 12,200 jobs in November. In his monthly JobWatch report, Michael Shields notes that Ohio is on pace to recover from the pandemic recession twice as fast as we did from the Great Recession. The job numbers demonstrate the power of public resources to help people make ends meet, but many Ohioans are still hurting, so it’s critical the Senate pass Build Back Better immediately.
2.3 million: That’s how many Ohioans received federal pandemic unemployment benefits, which helped them make ends meet when they were laid off during the pandemic. Despite that success, some lawmakers want to pass Senate Bill 228 which could make it harder for Ohioans to get federal aid during crises. Zach Schiller testified against the bill this week. You can watch him stand up to misinformation and racist dog whistles here.
$250 million: Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine announced plans to direct $250 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to law enforcement and other first responders. DeWine’s plan represents tired, old approaches to law enforcement that have failed to create safer communities and over-targeted Black and brown communities, Hannah Halbert said. She urged lawmakers to use the funds to help Ohio communities recover and rebuild by providing hazard pay for the essential workers who risked their health during the pandemic.
$4.4 billion: By 2024, school districts across Ohio will have to spend their share of the state’s $4.4 billion in ARP funds. Tanisha Pruitt’s blog highlights some of the creative ways districts are using the money to help kids catch up from being out of the classroom, retool for new safety requirements, and improve technology.
12,000: On any given day, as many as 12,000 Ohioans are in jail before trial because they can’t afford to buy their freedom. Two bills in the state legislature would largely eliminate cash bail. In an op-ed for Cleveland.com, Piet van Lier explained that passing them is a critical step toward making all Ohioans, no matter their race or income, equal before the law.
750,000: That’s how many working Ohioans are now excluded from unemployment benefits by the state’s stiff pay requirements. To qualify, a person must be paid at least $280 a week – which is more than what someone who 31 hours a week at the minimum wage would make. But as Michael Shields wrote in Crain’s Cleveland Business, a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown would increase the pay threshold to most of those now excluded.
1: There’s only one Tanisha Pruitt and we’re so glad she’s one of our amazing State Policy Fellows! Others are noticing how great she is, too, and she was just accepted into the City of Columbus’s New American Leadership Academic 2022 cohort.
1: Here’s one great job opportunity! Join the fight for Ohio’s future by making sure kids are taught honest and accurate history. The Honesty for Ohio Education coalition is hiring a young adult and youth organizer. Click here for more information.
15: For nearly 15 years, Wendy Patton produced policy research with commitment, passion, dedication and a stunning amount of expertise. She was also breathtakingly fast and is legendary for cranking out 10-page issue briefs in the same amount of time it would take most staffers to write a blog. Wendy’s work has made life better for thousands of Ohioans. She’s one of the reasons 700,000 more Ohioans had health care coverage because Gov. Kasich was pushed to expand Medicaid. In just the last budget, her efforts helped new moms get health coverage through Medicaid for a year after giving birth. There is so much more we could say about Wendy’s contributions to Policy Matters and Ohio in general, but that would require multiple 10-page briefs – and we just don’t work as fast as Wendy. She is starting a new chapter, running Kent State’s Columbus Program, where she’ll be exposing students to state policy and hopefully providing us with a new crop of progressive research analysists! There’s so much more to say, but we’ll leave the last word to Zach Schiller, her close colleague through all these years.