Ohio’s Diversifying Economy
A focus on multiple industries is good for Ohio’s economy
Charlie Rowell, Senior Director of North American Business Development•Published: Thu Jun 08 2023
Under the guidance of the board of directors and third-party strategic insights, JobsOhio was designed to have a proactive business development model and a return-on-investment approach to investment decisions. The initial focus included manufacturing, automotive, food processing, energy & chemicals, and logistics & distribution – industries that represent Ohio’s historic strengths. While protecting the base of Ohio’s economy, the leadership team also recognized that there were growth industries in which Ohio could, and must, compete, including technology, healthcare, and financial services. Altogether, nine industries were identified as the foundation on which JobsOhio would pursue economic growth.
Yet, as we progressed forward, it was clear that Ohio’s heritage and future as a home to U.S. military bases and federal research institutes presented both a need for retention and a potential for expansion. So, in 2019, JobsOhio added the Military & Federal sector as our 10th growth target, applying the seasoned experts and focused attention required to attract and keep federal missions thriving in Ohio.
JobsOhio’s disciplined “nine essential industry sectors + one” approach is ensuring that Ohio remains at the forefront of innovation and continuously fuels diverse career opportunities and the in-state facilities for competitive workforce development.
As demonstrated in the chart below,this approach has steadily worked to reshape and reinforce the resiliency of Ohio's economic landscape. The chart draws data from Moody’s Industrial Diversity Index, an authoritative annual index that measures how closely a state economy resembles the national economy. This measure is useful in determining how closely the economic performance in the U.S. will be mirrored across regional economies, such as the state of Ohio. The most recent update to this index shows that:
- In 2022, Ohio’s Industrial Diversity ranked #8 in the U.S., up from #9 in 2021 and 2007.
- Ohio’s Industrial Diversity score has increased YoY every year from 2012 to 2022. There are only three states in the U.S. for which this is true – Ohio, North Carolina, and Nevada.
- Over the past decade (2012-2022), Ohio’s Industrial Diversity score increased 1.73%, the second fastest pace (% change) among Midwest competing states (IL, IN, KY, MI, PA) and outpacing U.S. business hubs on the East and West Coasts such as New York, California, Oregon and Arizona.
The Dynamics Under the Data
From 2007 to 2017, Ohio witnessed a remarkable shift from the manufacturing sector to a robust array of service-providing industries: professional and business services, finance, insurance and real estate, education, and healthcare. That growth trend in services sectors has continued, but from 2018-2022 Ohio also capitalized on a generational opportunity to reassert leadership in Industry 4.0 by attracting a surge of new investment, onshoring and reshoring in advanced manufacturing, aerospace, advanced mobility, electric vehicles, batteries, and semiconductors.
Historically, these businesses might have located on one of the coasts where large numbers of technology and healthcare organizations have established headquarters and operations.
Today, company executives are taking note of the changes happening in Ohio. With a balanced budget, a pro-business tax climate, low operations costs, a skilled workforce and JobsOhio’s flexibility to build customized solutions to meet companies’ needs, Ohio is a front-runner for companies looking to expand in these growth industries and has become a major player in the national conversation around economic diversity and jobs of the future.