By State Rep. Matt Lundy
This month, we celebrated Labor Day to honor all of the men and women who have made it possible for our country to be a world economic powerhouse. Recently, the research group Policy Matters Ohio issued a study on Ohio’s labor market. Their research shows we are still struggling to recover from our latest recession.
The key findings show that our recovery is weaker than previous recoveries. Following the recessions of 1990 and 1981 lost jobs were recovered within three and a half years. Sadly, we have yet to recover the jobs lost in the last two recessions of 2001 and 2007. Even following major tax cuts in 2005 in Ohio, the promise of job creation never materialized.
Since then, the study says Ohio lost 3.8 percent of its jobs while the nation’s jobs grew by 1.8 percent. Economists continue to stress that tax breaks for a business aren’t the major reason for creating new jobs. Instead, they point to consumer demand being the primary driver. With consumer demand, more workers are needed to make the product or deliver the service.
Another troubling finding is that Ohio is caught in a low-wage trap. Statistics show that in the past decade there was not only wage stagnation, but also decline. This comes at a time when national productivity has grown more than 27 percent since 2000, while average wages and benefits grew only 6.5 percent. You can read the study at www.policymattersohio.org.
We will soon be announcing our “Lundy Listens” session for October. In the meantime, feel free to contact me about state issues of concern to you. I can be reached at 614-644-5076 or Rep55@ohiohouse.gov. I work for you and I look forward to serving you.