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JobsOhio, Policy Matters Ohio Say 2016 Job Growth Was Poor

Ohio Public Radio

The state's semi-private economic development agency JobsOhio says last year, the fewest number of jobs were created since 2013. And the progressive-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio says 2016 was the worst year for job growth in the state since the end of the Great Recession. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

It’s rare that Governor John Kasich’s job creating entity agrees with the liberal leaning research group that went to court over the creation of that office. But JobsOhio and Policy Matters Ohio both say last year wasn’t a great year. JobsOhio says the state created 3,000 fewer jobs in 2016 than the year before, and that was fewest number of jobs created since 2013. And Policy Matters Ohio says 2016 was the worst year for job growth in Ohio since the end of the recession in 2009. Jon Keeling at the state Department of Job and Family Services says he’s watching the trend – he says in the twenty years before Kasich took office, Ohio’s job growth rate was 48th among all 50 states.

“Since the Kasich administration, through December of ’16, we were 23rd. That was the fourth best improvement among any state in the nation. What’s important here is we’re improving, we’re on an upwards trajectory and that’s what matters.”

But the Policy Matters report says Ohio’s job growth was only .9% last year, while the nation’s job growth rate was nearly double that. Researcher Hannah Halbert says that raises an important question.

“Is doing more of the same, is sort of continuing this policy of tax cuts and shorting the revenue we have available for investment at the state level, is that really going to work? When do we kind of call that question and say, let’s look and re-evaluate these kinds of policies.”

JobsOhio says that the project pipeline shows 30 percent more job opportunities ahead. Halbert says she’s hopeful, but doubtful.

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