skip to main content

Friday, June 9, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Former President Donald J. Trump first ever to face federal charges in 7 count indictment; the Supreme Court strikes down Alabama's Congressional Maps; Canadian wildfires affect the health of humans and wildlife.

play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court upholds a key provision of the Voting Rights Act over Alabama redistricting, smoky skies could spell EPA trouble for some states, and President Biden calls on Congress to pass LGBTQ+ protections.

play newscast audioPlay

Rural communities launch projects with funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a study says rural transgender adults feel less supported than those in urban areas, and a summer road trip could mean majestic scenic byways or a sprinkling of donut shops.

New Ohio Labor Report Highlights Improvements and Challenges

play audio
Play

Monday, September 5, 2022   

A new report on working in Ohio offers a mixed picture of labor in the state.

The annual State of Working Ohio report is out for 2022 and while researchers are highlighting the strong post-pandemic job recovery, workers still face challenges.

The report shows the state has recovered 85% of the jobs lost to COVID-19, which is three times faster than the recovery from the great recession 14 years ago. While this is good news, Michael Shields - a researcher with Policy Matters Ohio and the lead author of the report - offered a word of caution.

"There is a note of caution, that depending on how aggressively they push to reduce inflation, the Federal Reserve really could reverse this job growth," said Shields. "We could even see a recession, but generally we're seeing really good recovery."

Shields said the inflation over the last two years was kicked off by the pandemic, but corporate profits now make up over 50% of cost increases.

Over the last few decades many workers in Ohio have been forced to transition out of jobs in manufacturing and into lower wage sectors. The report indicates the state has lost over 700,000 manufacturing jobs since the 1970s.

Shields pointed to a decline in union representation as a major factor keeping wages flat since the '70s. He said that while there have been productivity gains in the workplace over those same decades, corporations and the wealthy have captured nearly all of the profits from those gains.

The report shows only 13% of Ohioans belong to a union and Shields said productivity gains are not enough.

"Productivity is not enough to ensure that everyone in Ohio is able to prosper," said Shields. "Broadly shared prosperity depends on more than productivity, it also depends on bargaining power. We have to make sure that working people have a voice at the table and are able to bargain for their share of the wealth that they're creating."

The report shows the median union wage is close to $5 per hour more than non-union workers.

Another challenge Ohio workers often face is wage theft, where employers don't pay for all hours worked. The report states that misclassification of workers as contractors is one form of wage theft, but Shields said it goes further.

"Employers steal from some 213,000 Ohioans through minimum wage non-payment alone," said Shields. "Now, minimum wage non-payment is not the only form of wage theft. There are other things like not paying time and a half for overtime. Things like not paying for all hours worked. Sometimes folks will work a short-term job and just never get their last paycheck."

Shields said Ohio does not have the investigative resources to address the scale of the wage theft problem in the state.

This story was produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.




get more stories like this via email
Guns to Gardens volunteers in New Hampshire are working against what are considered among the weakest gun laws in the country. State law does not require background checks on all gun sales, or limit access to firearms by people in crisis. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Community volunteers in New Hampshire are turning unwanted firearms into garden tools as part of a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence. Under …


Social Issues

play sound

Parents and educators in the Houston Independent School District said they are all for improving schools but do not believe a state takeover by an une…

Social Issues

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling on a 5-to-4 vote Thursday, deciding Alabama's 2022 congressional maps violated the Voting Rights …


Alaska has more than 322 million acres of public lands, more than three times the acreage of the entire state of California. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Bureau of Land Management has announced a $161 million investment in habitat and wildland restoration projects in 11 western states. Alaska is …

Environment

play sound

As smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets New York and much of the East Coast, it's causing a wide range of health effects - and not just for people…

Connexus Energy operates a 'solar meadow' at its headquarters in Ramsey, Minn. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy)

Environment

play sound

By Elizabeth Hewitt for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Net…

Social Issues

play sound

To fight such pressing issues as housing shortages and increasing crime rates in cities across the country, many of the nation's mayors are taking …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As part of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, mental-health advocates in Iowa are sharing information about Alzheimer's and say two new drugs …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021