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News & Press

Ohio Has Grown into a Globally Recognized R&D Hub

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

Tue Sep 27 2022
Economic Insights graphic

Key Economic Insights

  • U.S.: The Federal Reserve raised rates by another 75 basis points in an effort to combat inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.1% in August. Core CPI advanced 0.6%. 
  • Ohio: Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.0% in August and the labor force participation rate was 61.8%. Area Development ranked Ohio the #8 Best State for Doing Business.

U.S. Insights

The Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate by another 75 basis points and projected a more aggressive path ahead as it adjusts policy to combat high inflation. FOMC officials now estimate the unemployment rate to rise to 4.4% in 2023 from its current level of 3.7%. Additionally, they estimate GDP growth to slow to 0.2% for 2022, a decrease from the 1.7% estimate provided in June.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.1% in August and 8.3% over the past year. Core CPI rose 0.6% during the month to a 6.3% annual rate, the highest level since April. The Producer Price Index (PPI) declined 0.1% in August, in line with expectations. Core PPI increased 0.2% during the month and is up 7.3% YoY.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. decreased by 0.3% in August, marking the sixth consecutive month of decline. Consumer sentiment remained relatively unchanged in September. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 59.5 during the month, up from 58.2 in August.  The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.9 points in August to 91.8. 29% of owners, a decrease from July’s highest reading since 1979, said inflation was the most important problem in operating their business.

Industrial production decreased 0.2% in August. Manufacturing output rose 0.1% during the month, continuing momentum from a 0.6% increase in July. Capacity utilization declined in August to 80.0% but remains above its long-run (1972–2021) average. U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in August. Excluding automobiles, sales decreased 0.3% during the month, below estimates.  ISM Services PMI registered 56.9 in August, the highest level in four months and the 27th consecutive month of growth. Weekly jobless claims rose by 5,000 to 213,000 during the week ended September 17. Continuing claims fell by 22,000 to a total of 1.38M.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.0% in August. Nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 7,500 over the month. The labor force participation rate in Ohio was 61.8% in August, down slightly from 61.9% in July but remaining above August 2021 levels.

In their 2022 “Top States for Doing Business”, Area Development named Ohio the #8 Best Stated for Doing Business. Ohio received top-10 rankings for several sub-categories including Logistics & Infrastructure (#3T), Business Incentive Programs (#4), Site Readiness Programs (#4T), Available Real Estate (#5), Cooperative & Responsive State Government (#5), Competitive Labor Marker (#8T), and Energy Availability & Cost (#8T).

Ohio has grown into a globally recognized R&D hub according to a recent R&D World article - “With top-notch universities, federal research institutes, leading companies from nine major industry sectors, and 14 top-ranked hospital systems, Ohio is a “quiet giant” of innovation in industrial sectors and life science. Ohio has the fifth-highest number of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies — and is home to more than 120 NYSE/Nasdaq companies with a combined market capitalization exceeding $1T.”

The Cincinnati Innovation District continues to take shape as the University of Cincinnati celebrated its Digital Futures Grand Opening. The new six-story building off I-71 will host more than 20 interdisciplinary research labs.  As part of the larger Digital Futures complex, Terrex Development & Construction and Messer Construction are developing a 5+ acre development that, when fully completed, will provide 520,000 square feet of office space, a 160-room hotel, retail space, an urban park and below-grade structured parking to serve the development.

Ohio merchandise exports were valued at $50.7B in 2021, an increase of 12.2% from 2020, according to the ODOD’s latest Ohio Export Report. According to the report, Ohio was the 9th largest exporting state in 2021 with 211 countries and territories receiving exports. Industrial machinery was Ohio’s leading export ($8.3B), and the state was a top 5 state in this category with 4.0% of the U.S. total. Ohio led the nation in exports of soaps/cleaning preparations/waxes (14.9% of U.S. total) and was 2nd in paints/dyes/putty (8.3% of U.S. total).

Intel’s Ohio Semiconductor Education and Research Program will provide $17.7M over three years to 8 collaborative proposals involving more than 80 institutions of higher education throughout Ohio.  Case Western Reserve University ranked #21 in the world for the number of patents granted among universities in 2021 according to the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. Case Western (#44) and The Ohio State University (#49) both ranked among the top 50 National Universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Education Rankings.

JobsOhio released a new white paper titled, “Maximize Your Electric Vehicle Investment in Ohio,” examining why automotive companies are setting their sights on Ohio when pivoting their business. Ohio and six other Midwestern states have formed a coalition aimed at collaboratively developing the hydrogen market to create jobs and reduce emissions. The Ohio State University and Nationwide Insurance have formed the AgTech Innovation Hub, with $2M in initial funding from Nationwide, to encourage the development of new agricultural ecosystem solutions while managing and mitigating climate risk.

348 Ohio employers were approved for funding during the July round of Ohio’s TechCred program. A total of 1,958 Ohio employers have been approved for funding so far this year, supporting the earning of more than 48,000 tech-focused credentials by employees. Cincinnati has received a $127M federal Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant for the Western Hills viaduct replacement project, a 90-year-old bridge connecting I-75 that carries 55,000 vehicles per day. The Youngstown Business Incubator was awarded a $475,000 JobsOhio Vibrant Communities Grant in addition to a $1.9M U.S. EDA Public Works grant.

Ohio Company News

  • BBI Logistics will add 953 full-time positions over the next 10 years at their new HQ in Columbus.
  • Cleveland Clinic plans to build a medical outpatient center in Middleburg Heights. The family health center will mark Cleveland Clinic’s first large venture in the area.
  • General Motors will invest $760M to repurpose its Toledo transmission factory to build electric drive units.
  • United Protective Technologies plans to hire 60 at a new nanocomposite coatings facility in Youngstown.
  • H&H Industries will hire 5 new employees and invest $233,000 to expand capacity in Oak Hill.
  • Battle Motors completed a factory expansion to 325,000 SF and raised $150M in Series B funding.
  • Takeya USA opened a new 120,000 SF distribution center in New Albany.
  • Festo will build a new Global Production Center focused on automation production and R&D in Mason.
  • Vega Americas opened its new North American corporate HQ in the city of Mason’s R&D Park.
  • St. Elizabeth Healthcare plans to open a new innovation center and $30M venture fund.
  • Voyager Space will locate its terrestrial lab for the George Washington Carver Science Park at The Ohio State University. GWCSP is the world’s first-ever science park in space, today operating on the ISS.
  • Toledo Solar will expand its manufacturing capacity by 2.8 Gigawatts.
  • J.W. Didado Electric will partner with Newpoint Gas to redevelop the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant near Piketon into an advanced hydrogen clean energy manufacturing facility.
  • Energy Harbor has joined with the University of Toledo, regional industrial partners, and several DOE labs to form Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen aimed at using nuclear power to produce clean hydrogen.
  • Parker-Hannifin has acquired UK-based Meggitt, a leader in aerospace and defense, for $6.3B.
  • Cold Jet will acquire Danish company Aquila Triventek’s dry ice activities.
  • Forge Biologics raised $90M in Series C funding, bringing its total funding raised to $330M.
  • Orange Grove Bio, HQ’d in the Cincinnati Innovation District, raised $16.5M in funding.
  • BioWish Technologies closed a $5M capital investment deal with SABIC Ventures.
  • Mennel Milling has acquired operations of Renwood Mills and the business interests of Sanford Milling.