News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Greater Akron Chamber

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Record low number of Ohioans in the labor force
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports just 59% of Americans 16 and over have declared that they are part of the labor force – in Ohio, that figure is just under 63%.
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 

This Labor Day, there are a record low number of Ohioans in the labor force – fewer than there have been since October 1978. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler talked to two economic experts who see that number – and others – in very different ways.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:00)


Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:29)


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports just 59% of Americans 16 and over have declared that they are part of the labor force – in Ohio, that figure is just under 63%. That’s a 34 year low. That’s not the only thing that has the progressives at Policy Matters Ohio worried. Amy Hanauer says the group’s annual Labor Day report also shows the state lost more than 2.3% of its jobs since 2005, while the country added 3.8% in that same period.

“It is nowhere near what you should see in an economic recovery. It is nowhere near what we’ve seen in past recoveries. And we have not caught up to where we were before the start of this recession – in fact, we haven’t even caught up to where we were before the previous recession.”

 On the other side of the political aisle, the conservative Buckeye Institute has also noted that 34 year record low labor participation number. Policy analyst Greg Lawson says Ohio is 47th in the nation for private sector since the beginning of 1990, and that more people dropped out of labor force this spring than in any other period since the recession.

“We have done worse than the nation even in the good times – so even when we’re growing jobs, we’re always below the national average. And then when times go bad, we really bottom out relative to the rest of the nation. So this is a real systemic problem that Ohio has.”

Hanauer and Lawson are also concerned about other numbers. Hanauer says there’s what she calls staggering inequality between the incomes of the top 1% and everyone else, and that most jobs in Ohio don’t pay a livable wage.

“Eleven of the 12 most common occupations in Ohio do not pay enough to get a family of three above 150% of the federal poverty level.”

Lawson notes that college enrollment rates are up, but are lower than the rest of the nation, and that Ohio’s disability rate is at an all-time high, above 5%, which means 93,000 more people are on disability in Ohio.

“Those folks are far less likely, statistically speaking, to get back into the labor force.”

But Hanauer and Lawson disagree strongly on what should be done to improve these numbers. The Buckeye Institute suggests policymakers enact what it calls free market reforms such as lower taxes.  Hanauer disagrees.

“That’s the prescription that we’ve been following in Ohio, and the states that go with that approach – lower taxes, lower wages, more deference to the private sector, no regulation – what happens is that working people suffer, and then the economy as a whole suffers.”

Policy Matters suggests more investment in public education from pre-k to college. Lawson disagrees.

“They call it investment but what it really is is just spending more money. And we’ve had a history of spending more money in this state for years. Taxing and spending all the time is not an answer because, quite frankly, the state’s been doing that all along and the proof that’s is in the pudding is that we’ve trailed the nation for years.”

Lawson also suggests passing so-called “right to work” legislation. And Hanauer also backs more investment in transit and renewable energy, including repealing the law requiring a two-year freeze on Ohio’s clean energy standards.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Video of Cleveland police shooting a 12-year-old is critical to the investigation
While I think this is a very unfortunate, the fact is that police are trained to aim for the large mass of a human to stop them. If they aimed for the leg it w...

Wayne County teacher says he was fired for criticizing dairy
This is bull crap Smithville Schools have changed ever since the new school I'm so ashamed at the district I wish I could pick my house up and move it to anothe...

White Castle is closing its five Northeast Ohio restaurants
you should open a white castle in logan ohio.i'm pretty sure you disappointed,thank you...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University