DeWine May Cut State Budgets by Up to 20 Percent, But Public Sector Cannot Match Loss of Private Sector’s 188K Lost Jobs

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Even as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine orders state departments to cut up to 20 percent of their budgets and implement a hiring freeze, state workers are not feeling the coronavirus economic burn like the private sector.

“State revenue will continue to go down dramatically and it’s important as governor that we take action now and not wait,” DeWine said.

In addition to new hires, the governor halted pay increases and promotions for state of Ohio unclassified and exempt staff and a freeze on new contract services for the state of Ohio – with the exception for those services that are necessary for the emergency response.

Even with those measures, state workers so far have not experienced the economic pain felt by more than a hundred-thousand in the private sector.

Ohio’s unemployment claims totaled 187,784, the Cincinnati Enquirer said, up from 7,046 the previous week. That represents a shocking increase of 2,565 percent.

Ohio was hit harder with unemployment filings than other states during the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus, The Ohio Star reported.

Ohio has more than 5 percent of the nation’s new 3.28 million unemployment claims, but only 3 percent of the members of Congress. (Ohio has 16 U.S. representatives out of the House’s 435 members, or 3 percent.) The state’s unemployment claims of nearly 188,000, divided by the nation’s 3.28 million is 5.7 percent of all claims.

In March alone, Ohio received over 10,000 WARN Act layoff notices across a breadth of industries, according to data by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act helps ensure advance notice in cases of qualified plant closings and mass layoffs.

The largest notice in March came from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, which on March 20 warned it temporarily would lay off about 1,390 workers as a result of DeWine’s March 15 closure of bars and restaurants.

Since the Governor ordered the closure of restaurants, this temporary layoff is subject to the 60-day notice exception for ”unforeseeable business circumstances” and/or a ”natural disaster”.

The temporary layoffs will occur between March 16, 2020 and March 20, 2020. Additional temporary layoffs may occur between March 21, 2020 and March 31, 2020. CMR expects to temporarily layoff all employees because of the Order and Coronavirus including, but not limited to, all severs, bartenders, managers, cooks, chefs, home office employees, directors and executives.

Cameron Mitchell’s website says it will donate 100 percent of online gift card sales proceeds through March 31 to distribute evenly among its 4,000 associates.

Cameron Mitchell, Founder and CEO, says, in part on the website, “This is, without a doubt, one of the most incredibly difficult times we have ever faced at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. Like you, I am heartbroken and am anxiously awaiting the end of this global health crisis so that we can return to business as usual and invite you, our loyal guests, to dine with us once again.”

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Background Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by Alexander Smith. CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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