Sunday, September 03, 2006


State of Working Ohio: Not so good

"Our economic policies have done the trick," said Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio). "We are in the middle of one of the strongest economies this country has ever seen." (WaPo, 12/08/2005)
"We need jobs in Ohio and everyday I go to work, that's my top priority" (campaign ad, August 2006)
Those darn researchers at Policy Matters Ohio are trying to ruin Pollyanna's day again.

Seems Deb and her colleagues has been so darn "successful" working on "her top priority" that (from PMO's latest edition of their excellent State of Working Ohio):
  • "Despite national productivity growth of 3.3 percent a year between 2000 and 2005 and a staggering fifty percent increase in real after-tax corporate profits, the national employment rate remains below its 2000 peak."
  • "The typical family nationally had a lower real income in 2005 than it had in 2000, and national hourly median wages have also not grown much since 2000. "
  • "[T]he number in poverty nationally grew by 5.4 million between 2000 and 2004, while the number without health insurance grew by six million."
  • "While the U.S. did finally climb above its 2000 employment levels in early 2005, Ohio still has not done so. While U.S. wages are below their peak levels at the start of this recession, Ohio has real wages that are both lower than at their peak earlier this decade and lower than they were at the base point in 1979. Unemployment, too, is higher in Ohio."
  • "The top one percent of income tax returns in Ohio in 2006 (for 2005 earnings) had an average value of more than $760,000. This was 75 times what a household among the bottom twenty percent earned and twenty times what a filer in the middle twenty percent earned on average in 2005. This inequality has spiked since 1988."
  • "Ohio women’s median wages rose slightly last year but a 25 percent gender wage gap remains. At the median, men earn $15.68, compared to just $12.52 for women."
  • "Workers without a high school degree earn just $9.02 an hour in Ohio, while those with at least a college diploma earn $21.06 on average.
  • "[T]he wages of those with a bachelor’s degree have not grown since 1999. The median wage of college graduates fell in 2005. "
One piece of good news that PMO reports is that the "median black worker wage rose 3.6 percent in Ohio last year, the biggest increase since 2000."

Now, for those who'd rather get their info by visually, we've taken five charts from the PMO report that speak for themselves and pretty much sum up why working men and women, particularly Ohioans, sense that there is a difference between trickle-down and getting pissed on, despite what Pollyanna Price says:

Picture 8

Picture 10

Picture 7

Picture 6

Picture 9


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