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.

Lehmans

Akron Children's Hospital


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 tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

In a crowded, controversial field, Kasich's low-profile may be a boon
I think it should be required that if a candidate wants to use the facilities of one of our state universities to promote him- or herself, they should be requir...

How's Kasich selling in New Hampshire, and what about Iowa?
"If he heads there, says Gomez, he’ll either have to shy away from those issues, flip flop or “stick his finger in their face and say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I expa...

Ohio School Boards Association says new law could mean state takeovers of schools virtually anywhere
It would be nice if the state were this concerned about the dozens of failing charter schools.

Republican National Convention plans outreach to African American voters in Ohio
Too late! Seriously - I think the Republicans already blew another outreach campaign to blacks when they allowed many prominent members of their party to spea...

Copyright © 2015 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