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With budget battles looming for Gov. John Kasich's plans on taxing and spending, Ohio's improving economy remains a bright spot for him.
Kasich promised during the 2010 gubernatorial race that his pro-business agenda would bring jobs to Ohio, and he has touted his record on job creation since his first year in office.
On March 15, he tweeted about it with another angle: "The most recent data shows OH wages have jumped by $10.3 billion. Ohioans are creating jobs and driving our comeback."
It linked to a picture with the overlay "Under Gov. Kasich, Ohio wages have increased by $10.3 billion."
PolitiFact Ohio wanted more detail and wondered about the source of the wage figure.
Kasich's office pointed to data assembled by the Bureau of Labor Market Information of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Specifically citing the figures for total wages of workers employed in Ohio, they compared the combined wages for the third and fourth quarters of 2010 and the first and second quarters of 2011 against the period starting six months after Kasich took office -- the third and fourth quarters of 2011 and the first and second quarters of 2012.
The first four quarters total $204.2 billion (averaging $51 billion per quarter). The second four quarters total $214.5 billion (averaging $53.6 billion).
The difference: $10.3 billion.
We looked further, hoping to make the numbers more meaningful to individuals, and found that per capita income in Ohio increased 4.5 percent in 2011, the most recent figures available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
PolitiFact has always stipulated that the ability of an individual governor -- or president or any other elected official -- to influence the economy is limited. Determining how credit or blame should be apportioned is seldom clear.
Kasich took office at a time when Ohio's employment picture already had begun to improve. The wage growth for the time period under the Republican governor could as easily be classified as having happened under President Barack Obama, a Democrat (as Mitt Romney found last fall).
In his tweet, Kasich did not try to apportion responsibility or take personal credit for wage growth in Ohio. In fact, he credited Ohioans with "creating jobs and driving our comeback." The link to the photo with the words "Under Gov. Kasich. . .," however, seemed clearly designed to attribute the wage growth to Kasich.
Still, we have previously found that Kasich can certainly lay claim to having kept some jobs here and attracted new ones.
The numbers back up his statement. We rate it as True.
Gov. John Kasich tweet, March 15, 2013
PolitiFact, "Gov. John Kasich touts contacts with companies to create, retain jobs," Oct. 3, 2011
Email from Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols, March 19, 2013
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Labor Market Information, Employment and Wages Publications
Ohio Deptartment of Development, Per Capita Income 2011, April 2012
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