Ohio Takes the Lead in Hubs Focused on Hydrogen and Sustainable Polymers
This report is a summary of third-party economic research and perspectives to foster communication with business and economic development stakeholders.
Published: Tue Oct 24 2023
Key Economic Insights
- Ohio: Ohio’s employment increased to a preliminary 5,648,100 in September marking the highest payroll employment since the series started in 1990. Ohio’s unemployment rate was 3.4% in September, unchanged from August. Columbus-based Battelle will lead the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, eligible for up to $925M in U.S. DOE grants. Akron’s Sustainable Polymers Tech Hub was selected by the U.S. EDA as a Regional Innovation and Technology Hub.
- U.S.: The Conference Board LEI declined by 0.7% in September suggesting a continued deceleration of economic activity following a year and a half of monthly declines. Core CPI rose 4.1% over the past 12 months.
Ohio Employment & Economic Insights
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 3.4% in September, unchanged from August, and continuing the historic lows that began in April 2023 when the previous record of 3.8% in 2001 was broken. Preliminary nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 8,400 over the month from a revised 5,639,700 in August to 5,648,100 in September, marking the highest number of filled jobs in state history since records began in 1990. The labor force participation rate in Ohio was 62.1% in September, unchanged from August, and up from 61.3% in September 2022.
An Ohio-led initiative, the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) has been selected by the U.S. DOE to develop a multi-state clean hydrogen hub. ARCH2, led by Columbus-based Battelle, is eligible for up to $925M in funding across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as part of the $7B H2Hub initiative to accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of clean hydrogen and reduce 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Competing with six other hubs across 13 states in the U.S., ARCH2 could add up to 21,000 good paying jobs at its peak. Akron was selected as one of 31 communities across the country to be designated a U.S. EDA Regional Innovation and Technology Hub (Tech Hub). The Sustainable Polymers Tech Hub will tackle the severe climate and environmental impacts resulting from the use of fossil fuel-derived polymers (rubbers and plastics) by accelerating sustainable polymer manufacturing and commercialization in the United States.
The State of Ohio will disperse $10.6M to 51 communities to support community development projects across the state. Funding is sourced from the federal Community Development Block grant, which should spur communities to commence infrastructure improvements. The Department of Defense selected Dayton as the host of a new defense innovation hub, which will be known as the Ohio Mission Acceleration Center. Governor DeWine announced a $100M investment in federal funding for communities to fight opioid addiction.
Forbes wrapped its Annual Forbes Under 30 Summit in Cleveland the week ending October 13; JobsOhio sponsored the event, which marks the first of three Ohio-based Under 30 summits. Cincinnati-based companies, Procter & Gamble, Fifth Third Bank, and Kroger, were named to the Time Magazine list of best companies for 2023.
Ohio Company News
- QTS Data Centers plans to invest $1.546B constructing four data centers on 2 sites totaling 94 acres in New Albany.
- Louis Dreyfus Company intends to invest $500M in a new soybean processing plant in Upper Sandusky and create more than 100 new jobs.
- Fuyao's latest planned $300M expansion will push total investment in Moraine to $1B by 2024.
- Growth Opportunity Partners is spearheading efforts to disperse $250M to improve solar access.
- Kroger announced a $39M investment for a new location in Hamilton Township.
- Clopay plans to invest $30M into a 100,000 SF expansion and add 54 jobs to the site.
- Ohio National Guard will break ground on a $15.5M center at the Rickenbacker National Airport.
- Yates Industries intends to invest $3M in a new location in Dayton.
- Mile Two secured $770,000 from the U.S. Airforce to enhance artificial intelligence initiatives.
- DSV began construction on a 1.2M SF facility in New Albany Tech Park.
- ODW Logistics announced the addition of a 540,000 SF facility in Columbus.
- Centrus Energy commenced enrichment operations at its facility in Piketon.
- Ubotica Technologies, HQ’d in Dublin, Ireland, has located its U.S. corporate HQ in the Ohio Aerospace Institute on the NASA Glenn Research Campus in Cleveland.
- United Airlines launched its inaugural flight from the Dayton International Airport to Denver.
Weekly jobless claims declined by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 198,000 during the week ending October 14. Continuing claims increased by 29,000 to 1.734M in the week ending October 7. The consumer price index (CPI) rose at a 3.7% annual rate ending in September. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 4.1% over the past 12 months ending in September. The producer price index (PPI) rose 0.5% in September to a 2.2% annual rate. Core PPI advanced at a 2.8% annual rate. The prices of goods rose firmly on the back of energy and food, yet, excluding those components, prices edged up 0.1%.
The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey increased 5 points but remained negative at -9.0 this month marking the 15th straight negative reading in the past 17 months. Retail sales grew more than expected in September with U.S. retail sales rising 0.7%. August's sales were revised up to 0.8%from a previously reported 0.6% increase. Industrial production rose 0.3% to 103.6 in September, the highest since December 2018. Capacity utilization, at 79.7% in September, is in line with its long-run average (1972-2022).
For more information, contact:
Matthew Ellerbrock & Summer McVicker, JobsOhio Research