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Published: Tuesday, 10/12/2010

Ohio's job losses hard to separate from U.S. totals


Rob Portman, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, reminds voters at every turn that Ohio lost more than 400,000 jobs while his opponent was the state's lieutenant governor. Lee Fisher, the Democratic candidate who also served as the state's jobs czar, responds that Ohio has suffered because of a national recession that also included huge job losses while Portman's former boss, President George W. Bush, was in the White House. A look at the facts:

Without question, Ohio has suffered economically during the recession. From January 2007, when Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland — and Fisher's running mate — took office, through August, the state has lost 404,300 jobs, according to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, there's more to the story.

Ohio has suffered huge job losses under both Republican and Democratic governors. During Republican Gov. Bob Taft's eight years in office from 1999 to 2007, Ohio lost 65,200 jobs. But during one brutal stretch from May 2000 through September 2003, the state lost 251,800 jobs under Taft.

Things are also looking up, if only slightly, in Ohio. Since February, when employment in Ohio hit 5 million jobs, a decade-long low, the state has gained 34,600 jobs.

The national picture is no prettier.

The country had a net loss of 6.9 million jobs between January 2007, when Strickland took office, and September. For two years of that stretch, Bush still was in the White house.

The country's worst job losses came between December 2007 and December 2009, when its net loss was 8.4 million jobs. Bush still was in office for the first year of that two-year stretch.

Ohio-specific job figures for September are expected to be released later this month.

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