median income in Ohio is the lowest in 27 years

The median income in Ohio is the lowest it has been in 27 years. If that's not bad enough, the number of Ohioans living in poverty is the highest it has been in more than 30 years.

Now before Democrat loyalists start to blame a Republican governor for this, we should add that the highest median income for Ohioans occurred when Bob Taft was governor. The annual median income has decreased by more than $8,000 since 2000.

James Newton, chief economic adviser for Commerce National Bank says that the economic future of Ohio "suggests horrible things"; and that the near future will include continued poor employment growth and declines in income.

By Bill Bush

The Columbus Dispatch Wednesday September 14, 2011 9:14 AM

Ohio households were poorer last year than they’ve been in more than 25 years, and the number of people living in poverty is higher than it’s been in more than 30 years, according to a census report released yesterday.

“People are getting squeezed from every direction,” said James Newton, chief economic adviser to Commerce National Bank.

When adjusted for inflation, the 2010 annual median household income in Ohio of $46,093 was down by $543 from the previous year, and down 15.3 percent from the peak of $54,395 in 2000, according to the census’s Current Population Survey, which was released yesterday.

The inflation-adjusted figure hasn’t been lower for Ohio since officials began keeping that record in 1984, census officials said.

Ohio’s level of poverty — 15.3 percent — was worse than the nation’s, which was at 15.1 percent. Ohio’s level jumped 2 percentage points from 2009; it has never been this high since those records were first kept in 1980.

The worst year before 2010 was 1994, when 14.1 percent of Ohioans were in poverty.

The 15.3 percent translates into 1.74 million Ohio residents living below the poverty line last year, which means a family of four making less than $22,300 a year. About 639,000 Ohioans younger than 18 were in poverty, and 244,000 children younger than 5 were.

“If this isn’t a wake-up call to our policymakers, I don’t know what is,” said Renuka Mayadev, executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio. “We have to stop the backward slide.”

After two major tumbles by the stock market, a burst housing bubble and a weak recovery from the Great Recession, Ohioans’ household balance sheets are hurting.

“It’s just been this cascade of unfortunate things since then,” Newton said.

Though rising inflation has played a part, “obviously, it goes beyond that, because you would expect over three decades of time to see some growth in real income levels,” Newton said. “This is suggesting that Ohio is doing poorly” partly because of the massive loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs.

Nationally, the annual median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decline from the 2009 median after adjusting for inflation. That was the worst showing since 1996, and down 7.1 percent since the peak of $53,252 in 1999.

Nationally, there were 46.2 million poor people in America, the largest number in the past 52 years. One in 3 of America’s poor were children — 16.4 million — over 950,000 more than the previous year, a statistic that the Children’s Defense Fund called “grim and shameful.”

Census officials cautioned that all the figures released yesterday could change when the American Community Survey results for 2010 are released later this month. The survey is based on a much larger sample of 3 million households nationally, compared with around 100,000 for the Current Population Survey.

That said, yesterday’s numbers have been tracked and reported for decades longer than the ACS, giving a longer reference period.

With a congressional supercommittee gearing up to find places in the federal budget to cut, Mayadev fears that programs for poor children will be slashed.

“We’re really setting up ourselves and our future for failure,” Mayadev said. “What’s going to be there for us in 10, 20 years?”

About 13.7 percent of Ohioans had no health-care coverage last year, better than the national average of 16.3 percent, a figure also released yesterday showed.

“We are better off than some states,” said Cathy Levine, co-chairwoman of Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage.

Levine noted that, nationally, 18- to 24-year-olds were the only age group to improve in having health-insurance coverage over the past year, from 70.7 percent being covered to 72.8 percent. She attributes the increase to the new federal rule that lets workers keep their children on employer health plans until age 26.

“Young adults, an age group that’s always been among the concentrated demographic that’s uninsured, is suddenly doing better than other age groups,” Levine said.

Based on yesterday’s numbers, what’s the future hold for Ohio? “It suggests horrible things,” Newton said.

In coming years, Ohioans likely can count on continued poor employment growth, little in the way of pay increases, and more health-care costs shifted to them.

“This (income) number is going to continue to come down,” Newton predicted.

No votes yet

From April through June 2012, we added 246,000 more Disability claims.
From April through June 2012, we added 265,000 more Food Stamp Recipients.

Obozo's World....beautiful heh ?!

Does any of this surprise anyone? Ohio has been de-industrializing for decades now, and nothing is taking up the slack.

I wish about 2-3 million of Ohio's 11.5 million people would just up and leave the state. There will never be jobs for them in their remaining lifetimes.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.