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Ohio Earns Another Top 5 Business Climate Ranking

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

Tue Nov 09 2021

Key Economic Insights

  • Global: 50% of the world population has now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • U.S.: Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 531,000 in October; unemployment rate fell to 4.6%.
  • Ohio: Ohio was ranked #4 business climate and #7 safest state.

Global Insights

Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies agreed to set a minimum tax rate of 15% on the profits of large businesses, and to shift tax revenues to where companies sell to consumers rather than where they are based.  China’s manufacturing activity contracted for the second straight month in October.

International automakers are lobbying U.S. lawmakers to modify President Biden’s proposed electric vehicle tax credit, included as part of a $1.75T legislative package.  International trade is seeing a shift as multinational businesses start to limit offshoring and outsourcing, relocating operations away from low-cost countries to locales to afford greater control and reliability amid uncertainty in the global supply chain.  Over 50% of the global population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

U.S. Insights

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 531,000 in October, and the unemployment rate edged down 0.2% to 4.6%Weekly jobless claims dropped to 269,000 for the week ended October 30, a new pandemic-era low. Continuing claims fell to 2.105M from 2.239M during the prior week.  The Federal Reserve kept short-term interest rates unchanged, but approved scaling back its bond-buying stimulus program.  Nearly 67% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and over 57% is fully vaccinated.

ISM Manufacturing PMI fell to 60.8 in October, indicating expansion in the overall economy for the 17th month. ISM Services PMI rose to new high of 66.7 in October, with the rate of expansion from September setting a record for the fourth time in 2021. Total output rose at an annualized 1.7% from the prior period, while hours worked increased 7%.  Construction spending in the U.S. decreased in September, falling 0.5% after rising 0.1% in August.  The U.S. trade deficit widened 11.2% in September to a record $80.9B, the sharpest monthly increase since July 2020.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

In their 2021 Top Business Climate rankings, Site Selection magazine named Ohio the #4 best business climate in the U.S.  A recent analysis of data from the FBI ranked Ohio the #7 safest state in the U.S. Columbus was listed as the safest large city in the state, with Perrysburg and Hunting Valley also gaining recognition.  16 Ohio institutions applied for the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

Greater Cincinnati is the #1 metro area in Site Selection’s Top Ohio River Corridor Metros, with more than $3B in corporate facility investments and more than 10,600 jobs associated with projects in the region over an 18-month period. The number of public firms calling Cincinnati home grew in 2021. Five companies (Hillman Solutions, Ensemble Health Partners, Phillips Edison & Co, Paycor HCM, and Blue Water Vaccines) went public, or have filed plans to soon, with a combined $2.8B in annual revenue and nearly 13,000 employees.

The 2020 annual report from BioOhio highlights 4,262 bioscience-related firms operate 5,124 locations, with 83,693 jobs with average annual wage of $84,600, and $7.1B in annual payroll. Ohio bioscience companies attracted $3.3B in 2020 including venture capital, exits, angel investment, federal grants, and state initiatives. $997M came from NIH in 2020, a record for Ohio and ahead of national average of $693M.

Eight companies in Northeast Ohio saw their market capitalization more than triple during the third quarter.  Twelve development projects in Northeast Ohio have applied for the state’s new Transformational Mixed-Use Development tax credit, intended to incentivize mixed-use projects.

The Dayton-area office market saw positive momentum in the third quarter driven by defense contractors. Colliers International reports the Dayton office market recorded 81,200 SF of positive net absorption during Q3. Construction activity has increased, totaling 269,000 SF, and recent announcements from developers could add up to 375,000 SF of speculative product to the inventory.

The City of Sandusky secured a $100M, 20-year public investment from Cedar Fair.  28 water infrastructure projects were awarded nearly $44M in financial support as part of the second round of funding offered through the new Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grant program.  Over 6.5M Ohioans have started the COVID-19 vaccination process, marking approximately 60% of the population currently eligible.

Positive Company-Specific News

  • Orange Grove Bio is moving its corporate HQ from New York to the Cincinnati Innovation District.
  • Nexen Tire America is relocating its U.S. HQ from California to its facility in Richfield.
  • Starwin Industries will double its workforce as part of a nearly $10M expansion project at the company’s Kettering facility. The company is looking to add 95 new jobs, generating more than $6M in new annual payroll.
  • EPC Columbia will invest $2.5M to grow its Lebanon facility by 75,000 SF, adding 50 new jobs representing a 20% increase in the company’s local footprint.
  • AmbaFlex Manufacturing, HQ in the Netherlands, is expanding its footprint in Canton with a new $10.5M, 50,000 SF facility. The company will add 35 employees within the next five years as part of the expansion.
  • WIKA Sensor Technology broke ground on a $5.4M, 20,000 SF manufacturing facility in Orange Township. The company will add 15 new production jobs as part of the expansion.
  • Mercy Health broke ground on a new $200M hospital in Mason.
  • Kroger and Bed Bath & Beyond agreed to a collaboration that offers Kroger customers an extensive selection of the most sought-after goods for the home and baby products through com as well as a small-scale physical store.
  • Babcock & Wilcox signed an agreement with the Ohio State Innovation Foundation for an exclusive, worldwide commercial license for a for decarbonization and hydrogen production technology.
  • Geis planning 470-acre business park in Portage County, set to be the largest construction-ready site in Northeast Ohio.
  • Ricoh USA and Stratasys will partner to provide point-of-care anatomic modeling services to healthcare facilities, giving more medical providers and hospitals access to 3D-printed, patient-specific anatomic models.
  • Worthington Industries signed an agreement to acquire Tempel Steel, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of precision motor and transformer laminations for the electrical steel market.
  • Struxtion landed finance backing, raising $5.5M in a seed round led by Cincinnati-based North American Properties.
  • AlgiSys BioSciences, a biotechnology company in Mayfield Heights, has hired Peakstone Securities to raise $45M in Series B funding to help take its fish oil substitutes to market.
  • Fifth Third settled the issuance of its inaugural Green Bond for $500M; will fund green projects that align with sustainability priorities, becoming the first U.S. financial institution under $250B in assets to issue an ESG bond.
  • Sinclair College is using a $576,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a data analytics technician pathway, designed to meet growing demand for data analyst jobs.


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