Thing That Make Me Go Hmm… Reflecting On Ohio’s Economic Turnaround

I was fascinated with the Fox News interview of Governor Kasich this morning. Chris Wallace asked Governor Kasich the following question.

You have engineered quite a turnaround at Ohio since you took office in 2011 and let’s put up part of your record. Your state has been the number five job creator in the nation over that period of time. And number one in the Midwest. Unemployment is now 6.5 percent. The lowest in your state since June of 2008. And Ohio has gone from an $8 billion deficit to a $1.5 billion surplus. Question: what is the secret to your success?

The alleged job creation performance was pretty amazing considering that the last time I looked at Ohio’s job creation performance I was not impressed. So I decided to crunch the numbers. I picked up the job creation numbers from the Job Growth Update page at Arizona State University and found that Ohio’s 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 job growth performance was definitely middling. They were ranked number 26,18, 25, and 33.  This was less impressive than the performance of Indiana which was ranked 5, 8, 40, and 20. So how did Fox come up with the optimistic talking point?

Since the question talked about jobs created, I put the data into a spreadsheet and calculated the actual number of jobs created. In this case Ohio ranked 7th since Ohio has a larger population than most of the states. However if we use this definition of job creation than the number one job creator in the Midwest is Illinois since it has the largest population in the Midwest. Hmm…