It’s no wonder why James Carville’s famous line, “It’s the economy, stupid,” remains so popular 20 years later. That is the issue that normally weighs most heavily on people’s minds, and it is certainly true this year. You may have heard recently that the United States faces the prospect of yet another downgrade of its credit rating.

When the US credit rating was downgraded last year, many states faced the same prospect. Ohio’s credit rating, however, was upgraded because people understood that the state was getting its fiscal mess in order—effectively addressing the debt and restoring its economy.

One clear indication of an economy that is on the rise is an expanding jobs market. The primary motive from the first session of this General Assembly was to restore confidence in Ohio’s economy and show businesses that our state is a haven for investment and entrepreneurship. To show that jobs was indeed the most important issue being addressed by the Legislature, the first bill the House passed created the private, job-creating corporation JobsOhio. Despite getting only two votes from House Democrats, it passed and was signed into law. The results—most recently evidenced in a quarterly report released in June—show that JobsOhio has played a major role in Ohio’s improving economy.

The quarterly report, which covered the period of April through June 2012, indicated that JobsOhio worked with companies all across the state and sealed the commitment of more than 4,500 Ohio jobs. A substantial emphasis is placed on manufacturing jobs because so much of Ohio’s gross domestic product centers on manufacturing. In fact, 17 percent of the state’s economy is based in this sector, compared to just 12 percent for the nation overall, according to a 2012 Ohio legislative analysis.

JobsOhio helped to bring 21,000 new jobs to the state last year, with three-year return on investment projections equaling $31 million. In other words, within three years of the state’s investment, the additional tax revenue coming in from the increase in jobs will be $31 million greater than what was initially given out. Many of the investments pay for themselves within a year.

Sometimes looking at jobs numbers can be nothing more than staring at a bunch of numbers on a spreadsheet. But to anyone who has reentered the workforce or recently been hired for the first time, having a job means so much more.


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