Tom Feran
By Tom Feran May 3, 2013

Ed FitzGerald says people are working longer hours and bringing home smaller paychecks

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald formally announced his candidacy for governor last month, kicking off his campaign with speeches in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.


The Democrat, taking aim at the man he hopes to unseat next year, portrayed Republican Gov. John Kasich as a politician whose policies hurt middle-class Ohioans.


"Just about everyone everywhere is spending more hours on the job, less time with their families, bringing home smaller and smaller paychecks, while they're paying more and more at the gas pump and the grocery stores," FitzGerald told supporters.


PolitiFact Ohio wondered about the basis for the statement and asked for sources.


For the claim about "more hours on the job, less time with their families," FitzGerald's staff cited data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


According to its American Time Use Survey, the average employed American spent an average of 7.6 hours per day working on days that they worked in 2011, the most recent year available. That's an increase from 7.48 hours in 2010.


They also cited an article from the news service The Fiscal Times that reported Americans are logging in more time at work, skipping vacation time and increasingly handling work-related email on vacation and weekend time.


As for the "smaller paychecks," FitzGerald's camp said that "the real hourly wages of Ohio workers have failed to keep pace with inflation" since 2010, decreasing the salaries of workers in inflation-adjusted dollars.


Their source was the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Its data show that the mean and median hourly wages of Ohioans rose from $19.66 and $15.45 in 2010 to $20.52 and $16.03 in 2012.

When adjusted for inflation and measured in current dollars, however, using the CPI inflation calculator, mean and median hourly wages fell from $20.99 and $16.49 in 2010 to $20.52 and $16.25 in 2012.


PolitiFact has always stipulated that the ability of an individual governor to influence the economy is limited. Determining how credit or blame should be apportioned is seldom clear.


We did not assign credit to Kasich for his statement in March that Ohioans' wages have risen by more than $10 billion since 2010. But we rated the statement as True.


We can't rate FitzGerald's linking of Kasich to his statement about people spending more hours on the job and bringing home smaller paychecks.


But his statement is accurate, with the point of clarification that "smaller paychecks" are in inflation-adjusted current dollars.


Because that additional information is needed, we rate the statement as Mostly True.

Our Sources

The Plain Dealer, "Ed FitzGerald kicks off his long-planned bid for governor by banking on his Cuyahoga County base," April 24, 2013


PolitiFact, "Gov. John Kasich says Ohio wages are up by more than $10 billion," March 21, 2013


Vimeo, "FitzGerald Cleveland Kickoff," April 24, 2013


Yahoo Screen, WEWS, "Ed FitzGerald announces run for Ohio governor," April 24, 2013


Email from Meredith Tucker, Ed FitzGerald campaign, April 26, 2013


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "American Time Use Survey — 2011 Results," June 22, 2012


BLS, "American Time Use Survey - 2010," accessed April 26, 2013


The Fiscal Times, "Is America Overworked?," Feb. 16, 2012


BLS, CPI Inflation Calculator, accessed April 30, 2013


BLS, "May 2012, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

Ohio," accessed April 30, 2013


BLS, "May 2011, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

Ohio," accessed April 30, 2013


BLS, "May 2010, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

Ohio," accessed April 30, 2013



 

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