Unemployed discuss new jobless numbers, candidates

5:26 PM, Aug 3, 2012   |    comments
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PARMA -- It's a  monthly ritual that takes on added importance in an election year.

We're talking about the release of the latest and new unemployment numbers.

But while the candidates argue whether numbers are negative or encouraging news, it doesn't change the reality of the people behind the numbers.

Cleveland's Ron Victor spent much of Friday at the Parma Employment Connection office working on getting his GED.

He's been looking for full-time work for four years, now trying to support his wife and four children with a fifth child on the way.

He lost a job at a company that did stage lighting and audio for various productions.

"I never thought I was going to lose my job," he said.

"I was making about $22,000 a year. It was enough to take care of my mortgage and everything else...Now things are getting harder and harder for me," he continued.

He voted for President Obama and is now disappointed in his performance. He does not have good feelings about Mitt Romney, but grudgingly says if the election were today, that's who he would vote for.

"I think they are making me pick the lesser of two evils," he said.

The new July unemployment numbers nationwide are 8.3 percent. That's up from 8.2 percent.

Hiram College Professor Jason Johnson has crunched the numbers and believes the President cannot win if unemployment goes any higher than 8.3 percent, where it is now.

"If you start getting to 8.4 percent, 6.5 percent, 8.6 percent, it means it's hitting Ohio, North Carolina and Florida. These are places the President must win in order to get reelected," he said.

About 25,000 jobseekers are now using help from the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County employment connection.

In the last twelve months, it found positions for a record 3,100 people.

Many of those still trying to connect believe their chances of getting a job depend more on luck and their determination rather than who wins the White House.

Victor predicts, "We'll be in the same position regardless of who is in there."

Ohio's jobless numbers have been running about a percent behind the national average.

New figures for July are due out later this month.

The President's campaign credits auto industry bailouts with providing better figures in Ohio.

Republicans say credit goes to Governor John Kasich's new and more business-friendly policies  and programs.


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