OHIO LEGISLATIVE STATISTICS

The Ohio Legislature seemed very non-productive in its first year. Only 59 bills passed, which is around ten percent of those introduced. To get some perspective, I checked the previous two general Assemblies. In the 129th, both houses had Republican majorities. About one-fifth of the bills that were introduced passed both houses. In the 128th, the two houses were split – Dems controlled the House and Reps controlled the Senate. In that session one-fifth of the bills passed only one house. Fewer than one in ten passed both houses. In terms of fraction of bills passed, the current (130th) General Assembly is about as productive as the entire 128th. It is reasonable to expect that the current Legislature will catch up with the previous one before 2014 is over.

Considering what’s in most legislation nowadays, we should hope for an unproductive New Year.

 

OHIO LEGISLATIVE STATISTICS

 

128 GA,

2009-10

129 GA,

2011-12

 

130 GA,

2013

 

House

Senate

House

Senate

House

Senate

Control

D

R

R

R

R

R

Bills Introduced

617

322

623

383

398

260

Bills Passed One House

109

65

180

108

77

60

Percent of Introduced

18

20

29

27

20

23

Bills

Enacted

33

25

130

71

31

28

Percent of Introduced

5

8

21

18

8

11

 

Renewable Energy and Unemployment: Are They Linked?

Several years ago I found a correlation between the amount renewable electricity in a state and its unemployment rate. Specifically, low unemployment seemed to go with large amounts of renewable electricity. Now the correlation is much less clear. There are two families of states:

Iowa and Minnesota have more than 15 percent renewable electricity and unemployment rates under ten percent.

The other eight states surveyed have less than seven percent renewable electricity and unemployment rates from six to nine percent. There is no clear trend for the eight states. Among them, Ohio has the least renewable electricity and an average unemployment rate.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT AND RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY COMPARED

State

Renewable Electricity, %

Unemployment, %

Iowa

27.90

4.4

Minnesota

19.80

4.6

Wisconsin

6.82

6.3

Michigan

5.70

8.8

Illinois

4.84

8.7

Kentucky

4.07

8.2

West Virginia

4.05

6.1

Indiana

3.58

7.3

Missouri

2.74

6.1

Ohio

1.73

7.4

 

Sources: Electricity Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, Dec. 2013 (data for Oct. 2013); Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Dec. 20, 2013 (data for Nov. 2013)

Reality Check on Ohio’s Natural Gas Boom

 

A new report* from the Department of Jobs and Family Services (JFS) shows that Ohio has gained 7,800 jobs since 2011 as a result of the fracking boom, but only 1,900 of these are in core industries, such as drilling and pipeline construction. The other 5,900 are in auxiliary activities, such as trucking. However, the report uses the total number of new trucking jobs in Ohio, not all of which are for hauling away fracking waste. Since new trucking jobs can include employees of FedEx, Budweiser, or Target, the 5,900 auxiliary fracking jobs are a maximum. So the JFS report should claim up to 7,800 new fracking jobs.

Even so, the job numbers in the JFS report are far short of expectation. The predicted 2013 job count in a widely-publicized 2012 report prepared by Cleveland State University for the Chamber of Commerce** was 40,606.  The reality is less than one-fifth of that number, probably far less.

A similar result holds for gas production. Using figures from the annual ODNR Ohio Oil and Gas Summary, natural-gas production in 2012 was only about seven percent higher than the average of the previous five years. The Chamber of Commerce report anticipated a 25 percent increase for that year.

Of course, any jobs are welcome in those areas of eastern Ohio where the gas fields lie. But the massive economic transformation talked about two years ago is not yet evident.

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*   Ohio Shale, Quarterly Economic Trends for Ohio Oil and Gas Industries

** A. R. Thomas, et al. An Analysis of the Economic Potential for Shale Formations in Ohio