Opinion: Jobs are up and Ohio’s looking good

Jennifer+Hutchinson+is+a+sophomore+political+science+major+and+a+columnist+for+The+Kent+Stater.+Contact+her+at+jhutch12%40kent.edu.

Jennifer Hutchinson is a sophomore political science major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Jennifer Hutchinson

It’s no secret that Ohio was in pretty bad shape before Governor Kasich took office. The state was desperate for help to get moving in the right direction. It was facing a historic $8 billion dollar budget deficit, and to make matters worse, 350,000 Ohioans had lost their jobs in the private sector. There was nothing but an astounding 89 cents in the state savings account. 

However, with some effective and efficient policies implemented, we saw the revival of Ohio. Under Governor John Kasich and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, the budget was balanced, taxes were cut by $3 billion dollars, the largest investment in state support for K-12 education in a decade was made and workforce training efforts were upgraded.

Ohio isn’t just revived, it’s prospering. Transformingohio.gov reports that the state now has a $1.5 billion dollar surplus, a quarter million more private sector jobs, the lowest unemployment rate since 2007 and one of the most-improved climates for job creation in the nation. 

The state’s jobless rate was 5.6 percent in September, down from 5.7 percent in both July and August, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The Ohio unemployment rate was slightly better than the national rate, which was 5.9 percent in September. And the number of unemployed workers was down from 324,000 in August to 319,000 last month. In fact, the number of unemployed has decreased by 110,000 in the past 12 months. 

Connie Wehrkam, a spokeswoman for Governor John Kasich’s re-election campaign, said in a Sept. 19 article for The Business Journal, “the Republican governor had gotten the state’s economy back on track and Ohioans back to work, but more remains to be done.”

Wehrkam continued saying, “Embracing the pro-growth policies that job creators need, like running budget surpluses and cutting taxes for all Ohioans, is working and exactly what Governor Kasich plans to do for another four years.”

While there’s still more that can be done, it’s reassuring to know that Ohioans are in good hands and that we’re only going up from here.

Editor’s note: Column has been updated to include missing attribution to transformingohio.gov.