Policy Matters Ohio

Job seekers at one of two fulfillment centers in Central Ohio.
Esther Honig / WOSU

Ohio has been gaining jobs over the last few years, and its unemployment rate hit its lowest level in 17 years a few months ago. But there are other numbers in the state’s economic overview that raise concerns for a progressive group that reviews the economy each year on Labor Day.

Pexels

Ohio’s unemployment rate went up in June to 4.5 percent. That’s compared with 4.3 percent in May, which was the lowest level since July 2001. But the number of employed Ohioans last month increased a bit, too.

Hannah Halbert, a researcher with Policy Matters Ohio.
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic Ohio lawmakers are making another effort to raise the state’s minimum wage.

Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

For the fifth year in a row, the number of unionized workers in Ohio remained relatively stable, according to a report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But some experts disagree on what the trend means for state policy.

Dan Konik / Statehouse News Bureau

The budget Ohio's Legislature passed last year requires the state to apply for permission to impose work requirements on able-bodied Medicaid recipients. That could mean thousands of Ohioans could lose their health-care coverage.

Unemployment Insurance Claims Office sign
Flickr / Creative Commons

Business and labor leaders both agree that something needs to be done to overhaul the fund Ohio uses to pay out jobless benefits. They want to avoid the crisis of 2008 when the state borrowed billions from the feds when the fund dried up.

A new plan has been proposed but both sides seemed to be split on the bill.

Donald Trump speaking on campaign trail.
Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia

Policy Matters Ohio says President Trump has a long way to go before delivering on his promise to restore blue-collar jobs in the state.

Greg Lawson of The Buckeye Institute
Ohio Public Radio

A conservative group is praising what looks to finally be the beginning of a committee that’s supposed to look into so-called tax loopholes. This is an issue that has support from both ends of the political spectrum.

Tax form
Ken Teegardin / Flickr Creative Commons

Nine months after lawmakers created a committee to examine state tax breaks and loopholes to see which ones should be abolished or closed off, that committee finally has some members.

Ohio Statehouse
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Cities across the state impose a tax on the profits earned by local businesses. This accounts for about 14 percent of total municipal tax collections - funds that cities rely on heavily to pay for everything from police to garbage collection.

Job ad in newspaper classified
FLICKR

Last year was a hard one in a category that nearly every politician talks about and nearly every election hinges on: the economy. And specifically, it was a tough year for job growth in Ohio.

Members of the Ohio AFL-CIO protest Andrew Puzder as President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Labor.
KAREN KASLER / Ohio Public Radio

A group representing 650,000 union members in Ohio opposed the nomination of Andrew Puzder, who's now withdrawn as President Trump’s nominee as the secretary of labor. But a progressive leaning think tank says whoever heads that agency is critical to working Ohioans.

Saving money in a piggy bank
Flickr Creative Commons

Though Ohio’s jobless rate is below the national average and the state is on a job-gaining trend, a new economic report says there are still some numbers that show workers are still suffering in Ohio.