Ohio Micropolitan Areas Won the Most Projects in the Nation
This report is a summary of third-party economic research and perspectives to foster communication with business and economic development stakeholders.
Key Economic Insights
- U.S.: Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 311,000 in February, the unemployment rate rose to 3.6%.
- Ohio: Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.0%. The state ranked #3 for overall economic development project wins and #3 for investment projects per capita in Governor’s Cup.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6% in February 2023, edging up from 3.4% in January. Nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 311,000 over the month and the labor force participation rate inched up to 62.5%. U.S. job openings totaled 10.8M in January 2023, down from a revised 11.2M in December 2022. Quits (3.9M) decreased while layoffs and discharges (1.7M) rose during the month. Initial jobless claims for the week ended March 4 rose by 21,000 from the previous week to a total of 211,000. Continuing claims rose by 69,000 to a total of 1.72M during the week ending February 25, the most since November 2021.
ISM Manufacturing PMI registered 47.7% in February, up from 47.4% in January. This figure indicates a third month of contraction after a 30-month period of expansion. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in February for the second consecutive month. The Index now stands at 102.9, down from 106.0 in January. Nonfarm business sector labor productivity was revised to an increase of 1.7% in Q4 2022, below preliminary estimates of a 3.0% increase. Annual average productivity decreased 1.7% from 2021 to 2022, the largest annual decline in the measure since 1974. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 3.2% in Q4 2022. Durable goods orders declined 4.5% in January to $272.3B, following a 5.1% increase in December. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.7% during the month. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 5.1%.
Silicon Valley Bank collapsed on March 10th, with the Federal government taking control of the bank. The bank recently had $209B in assets, making it the largest bank failure since 2008. Larry Summers of Harvard suggested that there is no systemic risk unless the bank and government cannot repay all depositors.
Ohio Employment & Economic Insights
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.0% in January, down from a revised 4.1% in December 2022. Nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 14,800 during the month and the labor force participation rate was 61.2%, unchanged from December. Ohio private sector employment registered at ~4.8 million, only down 16,000 jobs compared to pre-covid level.
Ohio ranked #3 out of 50 states for overall economic development project wins and #3 for investment projects per capita in Site Selection's 2022 Governor's Cup ranking. The Buckeye State was also ranked by Site Selection at the top of its list on a regional level, with Ohio taking the #1 spot for per capita investments and # 2 for overall project wins among Midwest peers. Findlay ranked as the #1 micropolitan area in the U.S. by project count for the ninth consecutive year in Site Selection’s 2022 Top Micropolitan ranking. Ohio led the nation with the most micropolitan areas with qualifying projects with a total of 22. These micropolitan areas combined for a total of 115 projects in 2022, more than double the total of any other state’s micropolitan areas.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved assistance for two economic development projects in February. Collectively, the projects are set to create 223 new jobs, retain 165 jobs, and spur $10M in payroll across Southeast Ohio. An additional $17.5M has been awarded to eight projects throughout the state as part of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, leveraging $118M in added private investment. These awards are in addition to the $64.1M in tax credits announced in December that are expected to leverage $1B in further private investment.
32 Ohio-based companies were included in Inc. Magazine’s 2023 list of the fastest-growing companies in the Midwest region. Collectively, these companies recorded revenue of $12B, added 6,240 jobs and had a median growth rate of 145%. Columbus was named a Top 10 Best Running City in a new analysis by ARRIS Composites, based on runner safety, air quality, park access, and rainfall.
Ohio Company News
- GE Aerospace hopes to hire 300 in the Cincinnati region while investing $35M at two facilities.
- Starr’s Auto Body plans to invest $2.2M and hire 150 at a new facility in Chillicothe.
- Vinyl Kraft intends to invest $2.25M expanding its New Boston facility, adding 73 jobs.
- Industrial Reliability and Repair plans to expand in Chillicothe with a $250,000 investment, hiring 20.
- Logan Glass Technologies expects to hire 18 with a $2.25M retrofit investment in Logan.
- JonesZylon plans to invest $90,000 in West Lafayette, establishing a new product line.
- Energy Harbor will merge with Texas-based Vistra, combining both companies’ nuclear and retail businesses into a newly-formed subsidiary within Vistra, referred to as Vistra Vision.
- OhioHealth intends to invest $400M to expand and remodel Grant Medical Center in Columbus.
- Marathon Petroleum will acquire 49.9% of renewable natural gas producer LF Bioenergy for $50M.
- The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved two solar farms in Hancock County, totaling 250 MW.
- altafiber will bring gigabit fiber access to approximately 60,000 addresses in Butler County.
- Alloy Growth Lab, Queen City Angels, and OhioX have launched OhioXcelerate, an event to provide startup entrepreneurs with mentorship, legal, and financial support.
- Loop Returns has released a first-to-market returns benchmarking app in the Shopify App Store.