Unemployment Flat Heading Into Early Voting

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Ohio's unemployment rate stayed at 7.2 percent for a third straight month in August.(Photo: Flickr)
Ohio's unemployment rate stayed at 7.2 percent for a third straight month in August.(Photo: Flickr)

The latest jobs report released today shows Ohio with an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent in August. That marks the third straight month of flat unemployment, and two political experts say the issue will be resonating with Ohio voters, but in different ways.

The August report will be the last Ohio voters see before the start of early voting on October 2nd. Ohio University communications professor Ben Bates says voters usually consider unemployment in one way.

Do I have a job, or do I not have a job? And if I’ve lost my job in the last four years, I’m probably going to be disappointed in Barack Obama.

Bates says about 70 percent of Ohioans consider the economy the top issue in this year’s election.

But unemployment is down the ladder on economic issues that sway a voter’s ballot, says political scientist Justin Bueckler from Case Western Reserve University.

The economic variables that have more predictive power are things like the GDP growth and the change in inflation-adjusted disposable income.

For voters who DO consider unemployment while casting a ballot: Buecker says they’ll probably rely on preconceived opinions and long-rooted political affiliations.

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