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Ohio’s Private Sector Grew by 20,000 Jobs in October

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

Wed Nov 24 2021

Key Economic Insights

  • Global: As virus cases rise in Europe, economic toll returns.
  • U.S.: Department of Energy to release 50M barrels of crude oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
  • Ohio: Labor force participation rose to 61.2% in October, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.1%.

Global Insights

Crude oil prices retreated from all-time highs, falling to the lowest levels since September over rising concerns about global energy demand amid renewed lockdowns in Europe.  China’s industrial production rose at a 3.5% annual rate in October, up from 3.1% in September. Retail sales increased 4.9%, up from 4.4% in September.  Japan’s GDP contracted 0.8% in Q3, after expanding 0.4% in Q2, as the world’s third largest economy saw a fall in exports caused by supply-chain constraints and lower consumer spending. Over 53% of the global population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Weekly unemployment claims dropped to 268,000 for the week ended November 13, a new pandemic era low. Continuing claims dropped to 2.08M.  Industrial Production rose 1.2% in October after declining 0.7% in September. Motor vehicle and parts output advanced 11%, the largest gain since July 2020. Capacity Utilization was 76.4% in October, up from 75.2% in September. Business inventories rose 0.7% to an annual increase of 7.5% in September. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.9% in October. Retail Sales advanced 1.7% in October, following a 0.8% rise in September. Excluding gas and motor vehicles, sales rose 1.4% in October. Homebuilder confidence in November rose to the highest level since last May, with the NAHB Housing Market Sentiment Index advancing 3 points to a reading of 83. Housing starts declined 0.7% in October and permits for future homebuilding increased 4.0%.

U.S. Insights

The Reshoring Imperative” argues in support of U.S. industrial policy. In the semiconductor industry, Texas Instruments announced plans to begin construction on new wafer fabrication plants, a total investment that could reach $30B.  Samsung Electronics announced a new $17B advanced semiconductor fab site as well. Over 68.5% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 58% is fully vaccinated.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

Ohio is 96.1% recovered to pre-pandemic economic conditions, ahead of the U.S. at 94.5% according to the Back-to-Normal IndexOhio’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.1% in October, from a revised 5.3% in September. Nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 20,100 over the month to 5,381,300 in October. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio was 289,000 in October, down from 298,000 in September. In October, the labor force participation rate in Ohio was 61.2%, up from 61.1% in September. Over 6.6M Ohioans have started the COVID-19 vaccination process, marking approximately 60.3% of the population currently eligible.

The Ohio Department of Development has awarded nearly 5,800 grants totaling $114.1M as part of the pandemic-relief program for Ohio businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly $196M still available across the state’s grant programs.  Ohio mineral resources produced $1.4B worth of geologic commodities in 2020 according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The total value of all nonfuel industrial minerals exceeded $1B for a seventh straight year. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced $7M in funding to support the installation of DC Fast Charging Stations for EVs along major highway corridors. Wilmington Air Park was named the Best Airport in Ohio for the second year in a row.

Ohio tax collections exceeded forecasts by nearly $127M (6.2%) in October according to the Office of Budget and Management. For FY 2021, Ohio’s tax receipts are $260.9M (3.1%) ahead of estimates. Fitch Ratings rated Ohio’s $160M Lease Appropriation Bonds ‘AA’.  Ohio ranks #1 in the Midwest and #3 in the U.S. for the number of apprentices as more than 19,500 Ohioans enrolled in ApprenticeOhio programs. Ohio has apprenticeship opportunities in 180 occupations across a variety of industries, as well as more than 100 pre-apprenticeship programs.

Dayton’s manufacturing industry has a substantial economic impact on the region according to a new report from the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association. The 12-county region is home to 2,458 manufacturing companies, and employs more than 129,000 people, representing $9.8B in annual payroll. Manufacturing employment makes up approximately 15% of the region’s total workforce, and from 2019-2020, companies invested $1B in expansions and new construction. The 2021 Aligning Opportunities report from Team NEO shows educational attainment in Northeast Ohio has gone from 33% to 37% over the past five years.

The University of Cincinnati was awarded the IEP Talent award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for their initiatives in education and workforce development. Two Ohio Programs were ranked among the top 50 undergrad programs for entrepreneurs in 2022 in the annual ranking from The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur. Miami University’s John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship ranked #13 in the U.S. and #4 in the Midwest. The University of Dayton’s L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership ranked #45 in the U.S, and #14 in the Midwest.

Positive Company-Specific News

  • Whirlpool will invest more than $65M over the next several years to expand its plant in Ottawa to accommodate increased production of premium refrigeration products, creating more than 100 new jobs.
  • Amazon is adding two last-mile distribution centers in Greater Cincinnati to create hundreds of full-time jobs. The company is also opening its first Ohio brick-and-mortar retail establishment in a Kenwood Towne Center.
  • Protiviti selected the city of Blue Ash for their 47,000 SF Americas Delivery Center. The firm expects to create 450 jobs at this location over the next five years, generating $25.6M in annual payroll.
  • Innergex Renewable Energy completed the tax equity funding of the 200 MW Amazon Solar Farm in Hillcrest; currently the largest solar facility in operation in Ohio.
  • SK Food Group will invest $18M to add a second production facility in Columbus. The 144,000 SF warehouse will create 305 new jobs with annual payroll of $12.4M.
  • Phoenix Metals is moving its operation to MADE Industrial Park in the Dayton region. A 156,000 SF building is being constructed on 12 acres in the industrial park. The company plans to invest $12M to construct the new facility.
  • Babcock & Wilcox Renewable segment was awarded a contract for approximately $58M to design and supply an advanced waste-to-energy boiler, combustion grate and other equipment for a waste-to-energy power plant in Europe.
  • Ardent Technologies will invest $250,000 to expand and accommodate 20 new positions, adding $1M in annual payroll.
  • Sherwin-Williams submitted final plans to the Cleveland Planning Commission for its new HQ in Cleveland.
  • Cardinal Health plans to test the use of drones to speed delivery of pills, inhalers and other items to U.S. pharmacies, a move the company said could cut transport costs for time-critical shipments.


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