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Ohio Continues to be Recognized as a Top 10 Business Climate

This report is a summary of third-party economic research and perspectives to foster communication with business and economic development stakeholders.

Mon Aug 22 2022
Economic Insights graphic

Key Economic Insights

  • U.S.: Consumer and producer prices showed signs of easing in July. Industrial production and manufacturing output showed growth during the month. 
  • Ohio: Nearly 140 Ohio companies made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies. Ohio’s unemployment rate remained at 3.9% in July; Nonfarm employment increased by 7,000.

U.S. Insights

Consumer and Producer Price indices came in below forecasts in July, indicating that inflation pressures are easing, but still remain near the highest levels since the early 1980s. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at an 8.5% annual rate in July. Excluding food and energy, Core CPI rose at a 5.9% annual rate during the month. The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose at a 9.8% annual rate in July, the lowest annual rate since October 2021. On a monthly basis, the index fell 0.5%, marking the first monthly decline since April 2020. Core PPI rose 0.2% during the month to a 5.8% annual rate. Weekly jobless claims fell to 250,000 for the week ended August 12, marking the first decline in three weeks. Continuing claims rose slightly to 1.44M.

U.S. retail sales remained flat in July. Excluding auto purchases, sales increased 0.4% during the month. Industrial production increased 0.6% in July, with manufacturing output rising 0.7% after falling in each of the two previous months. Capacity utilization rose 0.4% to 80.3% in July. Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 4.6% in Q2 2022. On an annualized basis, labor productivity saw the largest decline since Q1 1948. Unit labor costs increased 10.8% in Q2 2022. Over the last four quarters, unit labor costs have increased 9.5%, the largest four-quarter increase since Q1 1982. U.S. business inventories increased 1.6% in June, in line with expectations, and up 18.5% on an annual basis.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) fell for a fifth consecutive month in July, dropping 0.4% to 116.6. Over the past six months, the index has fallen 1.6%. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.4 points in July to 89.9. The share of small business owners (37%) reporting inflation as their primary business concern rose in July to the highest level since Q4 1979. U.S. consumer sentiment rose in early August to a three-month high, with the University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index rising to 55.1, up from 51.5 during the previous month.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

Ohio's unemployment rate was 3.9% in July, unchanged from June. Labor force participation was 61.9% during the month, down slightly from 62% in June. Nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 7,000 over the month. Ohio recorded 12,790 new business filings in July. A total of 107,859 new businesses have been created in 2022 so far, averaging 15,408 per month.

Ohio’s business climate ranked #8 in the U.S. in Business Facilities’ 2022 State Rankings Report. Ohio also ranked among the top 10 states across a wide range of categories including Automotive Manufacturing (#2), Aerospace/Defense Leadership (#6), Healthcare Jobs (#6), Manufacturing Jobs (#8), Capital Expenditure from Foreign Direct Investment (#9), Solar Power Jobs (#9), Food Processing Leadership (#10), and Manufacturing Output (#10). In their 2022 Metro Rankings Report, Business Facilities ranked Toledo (#5) among the nation’s top large manufacturing hubs, and Lima (#3) among the top small manufacturing hubs. Columbus (#7) and Cincinnati (#10) both ranked among the top-10 U.S. metros for best business climate, and were recognized among the most affordable large cities in the nation. 

Nearly 140 Ohio businesses are among the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., according to Inc. 5000. Collectively, these companies have brought in approximately $21.4B in revenue and added over 34,185 jobs. Columbus (#6) and Cincinnati (#10) ranked among the top 10 Midwestern cities to launch a startup, according to Chicago VC firm M25’s annual list. M25 compiles its rankings based on three factors: startup activity, access to resources, and business climate. Cleveland (#12) and Akron (#19) were also ranked among the top 20 cities on the list. RentCafe named Columbus a top 20 city for live-work-play buildings that combine residential, office, and retail, an attractive option for remote and hybrid workers.

Lake Erie Icebreaker has been permitted to move forward; the project, eight to ten miles off the coast of Cleveland, will be a six-turbine demonstration facility and the first freshwater, offshore wind project in North America. The Ohio State University has been awarded up to $52M over 10 years from the National Science Foundation to create the Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing, Moving from Evolution to Revolution (HAMMER) Engineering Research Center, partnering with Case Western Reserve University, and over 70 other universities, industry, educational, and technical organizations.

Ohio Company News

  • Foxconn will manufacture advanced, driver-optional electric tractors and batteries for Monarch Tractors in Lordstown. The tractors will be manufactured alongside EVs built for both Lordstown Motors and Fisker.
  • ACI Services will investment more than $300,000 in facility upgrades and equipment at their Cambridge facility, creating three new jobs.
  • BankiFi, a UK-based fintech company offering payment solutions for small-to-medium businesses, has secured $4.8M for their North American expansion in Columbus.
  • Superior Aluminum Products is planning to add new production space to expand capacity following the company’s recent growth.
  • SAI.TECH Global, an energy-saving Bitcoin mining operator, will open its first computing power and heating project, called SAI NODE OHIO, at its North American Distribution Center in Chesterland.
  • Ursa Major has delivered its first copper-based, 3D printed rocket engine combustion chambers from its lab in Youngstown, bringing the typical 6-month production and delivery time down to 1 month.
  • Nordson acquired MN-based CyperOptics, a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, for $380M.
  • Signet Jewelers will purchase online jewelry retailer Blue Nile for $360M in an all-cash deal.
  • Paycor signed an exclusive 16-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals to rename the former Paul Brown Stadium to Paycor Stadium beginning this year.
  • Avient plans to sell its distribution business to an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital for $950M cash.
  • Kinetic Vision opened a 51,400 SF Innovation Center in Evendale as part of the AeroHub Innovation District to optimize synergies between their eight areas of expertise.
  • CVS Health will invest $18.9M to build 150 affordable housing units in southwest Columbus as part of a facility offering healthcare services for residents and year-round childcare.
  • Lucid Diagnostics launched a Lucid Test Center in Columbus, along with locations in CA, FL, and TX, that will conduct non-invasive tests for esophageal precancer.
  • JPMorgan Chase has invested $1.5M in an equity design institute in Columbus, an initiative to train women of color to develop solutions to challenges like housing insecurity and lack of access to childcare.


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