Ohio’s Unemployment Rate Reaches Record Low in April
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.: Real GDP for Q1 2023 was revised higher to +1.3% from prior estimates of +1.1%. Core PCE rose 0.4% in April to a 4.7% annual rate, accelerating from 4.6% in March.
- Ohio: Cumulative oil and gas investment in Ohio reached $100B from 2011 through June 2022. Columbus was one of five U.S. cities designated as a “Workforce Hub” by the Biden Administration.
U.S. Real GDP increased at a 1.3% annual rate in the first quarter of 2023, higher than previous estimates of 1.1%, according to the second estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Durable goods orders rose 1.1% in April, the second consecutive month of growth. The gain was largely driven by an increase in orders for transportation equipment, which advanced 3.7% during the month. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.2%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.6%. Industrial production rose 0.5% in April following flat readings in both February and March. Manufacturing output increased 1.0% during the month, led by strong gains in motor vehicles and parts. Total industrial production in April was up 0.2% on an annual basis. Capacity utilization rose slightly to 79.7%, a rate that is equal to its long-run (1972–2022) average.
The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index rose 0.4% in April to a 4.4% annual rate, accelerating from 4.2% in March. Core PCE, the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of inflation, rose 0.4% in April to a 4.7% annual rate, accelerating from 4.6% in March. Despite the higher inflation rate, consumer spending remained strong and personal incomes increased during the month. Consumer spending advanced 0.8% in April, and personal incomes rose 0.4%. U.S. retail sales rose 0.4% in April, posting the first monthly gain since January 2023. On an annual basis, retail sales rose 1.6% in April.
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. declined 0.6% in April, following a decline of 1.2% in March. The LEI is down 4.4% over the six-month period between October 2022 and April 2023—a steeper rate of decline than its 3.8% contraction over the previous six months (April–October 2022). Weekly jobless claims rose by 4,000 to a total of 229,000 during the week ended May 20. Continuing claims declined by 5,000 to a total of 1.794M during the week ended May 13.
Ohio Employment & Economic Insights
Ohio’s unemployment rate declined to 3.7% in April, down from 3.8% in March and reaching the lowest level in the state’s recorded history since 1976. Nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 18,100 during the month to a total of 5,608,600. The labor force participation rate rose to 61.8%, up from 61.5% in March and recovering to April 2022 levels.
Total investment in Ohio’s shale energy sector was approximately $2.8B in the first half of 2022, according to a Cleveland State University (CSU) study prepared for JobsOhio. The report covers shale investment from January through June 2022 and cumulates total investment from 2011 forward. According to the report, including previous investments to date, cumulative oil and gas investment in Ohio through June 2022 is estimated to be $100.6B. Of this, $70.8B has been in upstream, $21.5B in midstream, and $8.3B in downstream industries.
The Biden Administration named Columbus as one of five new “Workforce Hubs” where they plan to partner with state and local officials, employers, unions, community colleges, high schools, and other stakeholders to develop training programs to meet the region’s demands for labor. Columbus has recently emerged as a center of public and private sector investment across a variety of industries including semiconductor manufacturing, clean energy, and transportation. Additional “Workforce Hub” locations will include Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Augusta.
Ohio Company News
- GE Aerospace opened a new 280,000 SF site in Beavercreek dedicated to engine component manufacturing for civil, military aviation and aero derivative applications. The site is expected to employ 400 by year-end. The company also announced plans to invest up to $20M in new test cell and equipment at the Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center (EPISCenter) in Dayton.
- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was selected by the U.S. Air Force as the preferred location for the 76th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Squadron (ISRS). The squadron is expected to bring more than 90 intelligence and surveillance personnel to Wright-Patt.
- Paragon Tempered Glass plans to create 12 jobs and invest $15M to expand its operations in Paulding County.
- 1 Global Service plans to invest $1.5M to expand its facility in Adams County by 10,000 SF. When completed, the expansion will allow the company to co-locate its manufacturing and HQ operations.
- River City Leather plans to invest $147,800 in its Gallia County facility.
- Farmers National Bank intends to add space to its HQ in Canfield with a 27,000 expansion.
- Pioneer Development, a Texas-based commercial and residential real estate development and investment firm, plans to build a 55,000 SF spec building in Marysville.
- Zeda announced the opening of a new 75,000 SF facility in Cincinnati.
- United Airlines will offer a nonstop flight to Denver from the Dayton International Airport in September.
- Breeze Airways will offer three new direct flights from John Glenn International Airport to Raleigh-Durham, NC, and seasonal service to Norfolk, VA and Jacksonville, FL.
- Verizon has expanded access to its 5G Ultra-Wideband network in additional rural municipalities including Sylvania, Swanton, Lima, Ada, Mount Vernon, Zanesville, and Cambridge.
- Oklo intends to deploy two advanced fission power plants in Southern Ohio providing 30 MW of clean electric power and 50 MW of clean heating with room to expand.
- EASE Logistics has been chosen as the host fleet partner for the ODOT and DriveOhio’s Rural Automated Driving Systems project. EASE will be the first in the U.S. to deploy automated trucking technology on revenue-generating routes.
- Hillenbrand announced a $730M acquisition of Missouri-based Schenck Process Food and Performance Materials. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approval.
- Fifth Third has acquired Big Data Healthcare, a tech firm catering to healthcare payments. The company also recently acquired Virginia-based fintech firm Rize Money.
- Ohio Mutual Insurance plans to merge with Wisconsin-based United Mutual Insurance.
- River, a Bitcoin technology and financial services startup in Columbus, announced a $35M equity round.
- MediView XR has raised $15M to allow the Cleveland company to expand its augmented reality platform designed to provide surgeons a kind of “X-ray vision”.
For more information, contact:
Drew Peters & Matthew Ellerbrock, JobsOhio Research