Ohio’s Job Numbers Point To Growth But Slow Recovery

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Politicians, pundits and voters say the election this November in Ohio is about jobs.

Job growth is a key economic indicator and an easy issue for campaigning politicians to discuss, but the numbers can be confusing to voters. A closer look might show that seemingly competing claims by Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald are true.

For example, Ohio has gained about 244,000 jobs since Kasich took office in January 2011, led by private-sector growth. But FitzGerald is right that nearly 25,000 local government jobs have been lost over that period.

Similarly, Kasich can rightly claim that Ohio's unemployment rate has fallen to 5.5 percent, its lowest point since before the national recession cost Ohio 430,000 jobs. Four years out, the nation and about one-third of states have regained all their lost jobs, while Ohio has regained about 6 in 10.