Blanket policies risky
Though federal officials are fond of talking about a “soft landing” as they manipulate the economy via interest rates and other policies, we here in Appalachian Ohio know those landings tend to be a little bumpier.
A look at “Changes in Unemployment Rate by State,” by WalletHub, indicates that may already be evident. The study looked at how unemployment rates are changing in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., using data as recent as December 2022.
Overall, Ohio ranks a dismal 43rd, and West Virginia is 38th.
With Ohio’s most recent unemployment rate at 4.2%, that means the change in unemployment from November 2022 to December 2022 was 0.35%, and from December 2021 to December 2022 the change was -15.1%. By comparison, New Mexico was top in that category, with a year-over-year change of -33.1%.
From December 2020 to this past December, the change has been -31.7%.
Certainly there are differences in the states’ populations and economies that make these kinds of comparisons somewhat unfair.
But that is precisely why the federal government has got to be careful about applying blanket policies they know will hurt some for the sake of helping others.
Our national unemployment rate is 3.5%. Those who use federal interest rate increases to defeat inflation say the anticipate it will increase that national average rate to 4.4%. What would a similar increase look like in Ohio, when we are already behind on the recovery much of the rest of the country has experienced?