Study shows instability in Ohio’s economy

Staff report


Ohio showed a record level of instability during 2010, while ranking in the middle of states in economic security, according to a study by the Rockfeller Foundation and a Yale professor.

The Rockefeller Foundation and Yale University professor, Jacob Hacker, released “Economic Insecurity Across the American States,” a state-by-state report of economic insecurity during the recent economic downturn.

Using the Economic Security Index, the study reveals Ohio experienced a record level of instability in 2010. At the same time, Ohio’s rate of economic insecurity closely mirrors that of the country as a whole, ranking 26th among states in the average level of economic security from 2008 to 2010.

The security index tracks the proportion of Americans who had their available household income, which is their household income after paying for medical care and servicing their financial debts, decline by 25 percent or more from one year to the next and who lack an adequate financial safety net to replace this lost income, according to the study.

The study showed that 1 in 5 individuals in Ohio experienced large economic losses between 2008 and 2010.

“The Great Recession was both broad and deep. No part of the nation was spared,” said Hacker. “Nonetheless, some states weathered the downturn better than others, and Ohio was among them. That Ohio did better than average, however, does not mean it did well. Even after the official end of the recession, one in five residents experienced large economic losses in 2010, and economic insecurity is substantially greater in Ohio today than it was a generation ago.”

The security for Ohio rose by 34 percent between 1986 and 2010, reflecting a broader national decline in economic security over the past generation. In 2010, roughly 1.8 million individuals in Ohio experienced a 25 percent drop or greater in available household income, compared with 1.1 million in 1986, reflecting a rise in insecurity and a larger state population.

“Economic Insecurity Across the American States” shows that while nearly every state experienced record insecurity during 2008-10, all states experienced a significant rise in insecurity between 1986 and 2010.

American households were becoming more vulnerable to large losses in income even before the Great Recession, according to the study.

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