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Ohio July Job Growth Remained Sluggish

Ohio gained 4,100 public sector jobs in July, but lost in manufacturing and construction. (TheHilaryClark/Pixabay)
Ohio gained 4,100 public sector jobs in July, but lost in manufacturing and construction. (TheHilaryClark/Pixabay)
August 21, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Analysts say another month of slow job growth in Ohio shows that cutting taxes for those with the highest incomes isn't putting people back to work.

The state gained only 1,600 jobs in July for a 12-month growth rate of just under 1 percent – less than two-thirds of the national average.

According to Hannah Halbert, a researcher with Policy Matters Ohio, the disappointing figures come after years of tax breaks favoring corporations and the wealthiest Ohioans.

"A lot of these cuts were made on the promise that if we cut taxes and make it a business friendly environment, we're going to see more robust job growth,” she points out. “And, so far, that just hasn't panned out."

The number of people working or looking for work in Ohio fell by 16,000 in July, and the unemployment rate increased to 5.2 percent.

Low-paying service sector jobs did increase last month, but there were fewer construction and manufacturing jobs.

And Halbert points out that public employment, funded by tax dollars, increased by more than 4,000 jobs.

"That's one other reason having adequate state revenues to fund those public services are important,” she stresses. “Not just for the services, because those are jobs, and that's money coming into our economy."

Halbert adds that cutting taxes means less state revenue to invest in priorities like public infrastructure – investments that can target regions and communities that have been left behind.

But at both federal and state levels, the focus on tax cuts continues.

Halbert notes that in Ohio almost 40 percent of President Donald Trump's proposed tax cuts would go to people earning more than $1 million a year, saving them thousands.

"For folks making less than 45,500 bucks, the average tax cut for that group of folks is going to be about $240," she points out.

Halbert suggests that federal lawmakers study the experience in Ohio before implementing tax changes that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy.


Andrea Sears, Public News Service - OH