The year 2009 was devastating for Ohio businesses and families. In a matter of weeks, Ohio businesses that had been struggling since the start of the 2001 downturn filed for bankruptcy and hundred of employees lost their jobs. Ohio’s economic plunge was second largest in the nation. Once 19th in the nation for median income, Ohio plummeted to 35th. So how are we doing now?
According to the 2016 ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, otherwise known as Rich States, Poor States, Ohio currently ranks 18th in the nation for Economic Outlook. In 2009, Ohio ranked 45 out of 50. The ranking is a forecast heavily influenced by what happens through the legislative process at the Statehouse in Columbus. In other words, states that spend less and tax less have higher growth rates than states that tax and spend more. How do we compare with other states? Utah is ranked first followed by North Carolina and North Dakota (perhaps we should change our state’s name to North Ohio!) and Vermont and New York rank last.
In the State Economic Performance Rankings, 2004-2014, Ohio ranks 49. To understand the variances requires understanding the performance variables involved and can be found in the full PDF report.
Since 2000, almost 443,000 private-sector jobs were lost in Ohio, and the rebound has mostly occurred in the Cincinnati and Columbus areas. New jobs, however, have not kept pace with the level of salaries lost. While the rich didn’t get richer in Cincinnati, the richest 5% still make almost 16% more than the bottom 20% whereas in Columbus the richest 5% just make 8% more. (Source)
Job growth in manufacturing has moved overseas, Millennials invest in education before home buying, and our aging population is concerned with health care and home services. It’s no wonder Americans are angry this political season. Cincinnati people have survived worse times than now and with the right people in office willing to spend less and tax less we can continue being one of America’s great cities.