Governor, Economists View Jobless Numbers Through Different Lens

Dec 29, 2011

Gov. John Kasich says Ohio is seeing a record drop in the numbers of people who are unemployed. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports one economist is saying the story behind those numbers isn’t anything to celebrate.

At his marathon press conference looking back on his first year in office, Gov. Kasich talked up the falling unemployment rate, which has gone from 9% to 8.5%.

“If the numbers went up you’d be whacking me so why don’t we take a little bit of credit for the fact that this is the single biggest drop in the unemployment numbers in 28 years,” says Kasich.

But Amy Hanauer with the progressive leaning economic think tank Policy Matters Ohio says the reality is that Ohio isn’t creating enough jobs.

“Since about a year ago, 61,000 Ohio workers have stopped looking for jobs, left the labor force and are no longer counted in the unemployment rate,” says Hanauer.

Hanauer supports stimulus spending to create public sector jobs, which has little to no support among many Republicans, including Kasich.