Friday, Ohio’s private economic development corporation, JobsOhio, released their annual report for 2018. The report assessed current projects, jobs created, jobs maintained, and lastly, capital investments. By these metrics, 2018 appeared to be a strong year for Ohio. However, there are qualifiers to their findings.
Overall, by JobsOhio assessment, the organization was involved in 266 projects across Ohio. This is actually a small decrease from previous years. In 2016, the organization was involved in 284 projects and 272 in 2017. However, the payroll and jobs created from these projects are significantly higher. The total payroll for 2018 $1.3 Billion with 27,071 new jobs created. Both of these figures represent significant jumps. While the report does not list the number of jobs lost or why the number of projects decreased, it does list the number of jobs retained. In total, 69,905 were retained in 2018, for a total payroll value of $4.2 Billion. Capital investment remained constant with last year at $9.6 Billion. It should be noted that the job numbers for 2018 reflect future jobs and spending commitments which means that, when the projects are launched, the actual numbers could vary significantly.
According to the report, the majority of these new jobs were made in two very key industries. Logistics and Development led the field with 6,664 jobs created, 815 retained, and $883 million in capital investment. Advanced Manufacturing was a close second with 6,078 jobs created, 20,444 jobs maintained, and over $2 Billion in capital investment. Surprisingly, Energy and Chemicals, an industry that saw some of the smallest job growth, had the highest capital investment at almost $4 Billion.
The report did note three significant failures. JobsOhio aggressively courted and appealed to Amazon in the hope of getting the, once coveted, contract to build a second Amazon Headquarters in the Buckeye State. Despite Columbus, Ohio making the shortlist of 20 locations, the contract ultimately went to New York and Virginia. However recent developments in New York could lead to the second location being up for bidding again. Apple was also courted for a new “job and capital investment commitment” in the state that ultimately went to Austin, Texas. Lastly, the group did acknowledge the failure to keep General Motor’s Lordstown plant open but stated that they maintained “a strong relationship with the GM leadership,” implying hope for future opportunities.
In 2011, then-Ohio Governor John Kasich created JobsOhio to lead economic development within the state. This replaced the economic development department operated by the state government. As it is, technically, a private organization, it is difficult to verify the numbers contained within the study. However, other metrics, included in the report, do corroborate much of their findings;
Ohio’s growth trajectory continues to garner national accolades. These are a sample of the recognition Ohio received in 2018:
• Ernst & Young’s 2018 U.S. Investment Monitor ranks Ohio No. 1 in the nation in jobs and projects.
• Site Selection ranks Ohio No. 4 for state business climate, up from No. 9 in 2011.
• Chief Executive ranks Ohio No. 10 in its Best States for Business rankings, up from 41 in 2011. Area Development ranks Ohio in the top 10 for
The report also included a 2018 statement from Forbes, noting, “Ohio ranks second in Forbes’ quality of life metric thanks to low living costs, short commutes and a plethora of top-rated colleges and cultural and recreational opportunities.”
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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to [email protected].