By Matt Mayer, Opportunity Ohio
In two debates, Donald Trump has dinged Ohio Governor John Kasich for being lucky due to the energy renaissance. Trump’s core criticism is that Ohio’s comeback had little to do with Kasich and everything to do with the Utica Shale formation. As fact checkers noted, Trump’s criticism is wrong, as energy jobs don’t explain Ohio’s job growth. From January 2011 until last month, Ohio’s private sector added 347,100 jobs. Kasich likes to claim success because few states can match the raw number during the same period of time. Trump’s attack accepts Kasich’s framing of the job figures, but gives credit elsewhere.
The problem for Kasich is that he is lucky Trump and his people didn’t do their homework. Eventually, someone of importance in the media or in another campaign will. Once they do, Kasich’s narrative will wither away.
Why? Because the truth is that, under Kasich and his JobsOhio scheme (http://www.opportunityohio.org/…/01/Its-Just-Not-Working.pdf), Ohio’s private sector is mediocre, at best. You see, the 347,100 figure isn’t a fair apples-to-apples comparison with other states. Ohio is the seventh largest state, so will easily add more private sector jobs than less populous states. When you normalize job growth for population by comparing net percentage job growth, Ohio is ranked 27th under Kasich. And, things are getting worse, not better.
The best year for Kasich came in 2011 when Ohio added 93,400 private sector jobs and earned a 17th best ranking, with most of the growth coming in the first six months of the year when he hadn’t even passed a budget. It has been all downhill from there. Through eight months in 2015, Ohio’s private sector has added just 23,600 jobs, with a ranking of 44th best in America. That is plain ugly.
So, Trump was wrong about Kasich being lucky. He just didn’t realize his error hid an even worse record he could have used to put at least one nail in Kasich’s presidential ambitions.
Kasich Trump image, property of Columbus Dispatch