Economy & Jobs

Looking for Work? Ohio Jobs Are on the Rise

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Thanks to redevelopment and population increases, Ohio jobs are on the rise. Three areas in particular are thriving: Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton. Let’s take a look at each.

Job Boom in Revitalized Cincinnati

Cincinnati is home to the headquarters of several large corporations, including Procter & Gamble, Macy’s, Inc., and The Kroger Company. The University of Cincinnati is also a major employer.

Recent years have seen a boom in Ohio job creation in the Cincinnati area. From mid-2013 to mid-2014, approximately 17,500 new jobs were added. In 2014, General Electric announced plans to build a U.S. Global Operations Center in the city that could add up to 2,000 jobs, and in early 2015, several companies announced expansions. These increased opportunities are reflected in Cincinnati’s population growth; the city gained about 1,000 people between 2010 and 2014.

Much of this growth can be attributed to the revitalization of the riverfront over the past decade, which has taken place in two distinct development phases: the ongoing construction of the 45-acre Smale Riverfront Park and the continuing development of The Banks, a public/private partnership aimed at bringing in new restaurants, bars, shops, offices, and residences. Construction began in 2008, with expectations that The Banks will generate $2.7 billion between 2011 and 2020. The new GE office alone is estimated to bring in an extra $1 billion annually to the Cincinnati region beginning in 2018.

Transportation from downtown to the riverfront has also been made easier. Renovation of Fort Washington Way has streamlined the highway system, and the Riverfront Transit Center provides access to such major attractions as the Paul Brown Stadium, Great American Ball Park, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Neighborhoods close to the river have also grown, with Findlay Market completing a $16 million renovation in 2004 and Newport on the Levee breaking ground on a new $80 million development 10 years later. Suburbs are also on the rise, including Blue Ash (home to the corporate headquarters of The J. Peterman Company), Montgomery (number two on Movoto’s list of the 10 Best Places to Live in Ohio), and Mason (whose population grew 38.27 percent from 2000–2014).

Columbus Ranks on Best Cities Lists

Columbus, the capital of Ohio, has a strong and diverse economy based on the banking, insurance, education, defense, steel, energy, and health care industries—just to name a handful. The city has won numerous accolades in recent years. It was named one of the 10 best cities for business by MarketWatch in 2008, the number one best city for working moms by Forbes in 2012, and one of the fastest-growing large metropolitan areas in the U.S. by Columbus Business First in 2014. Ohio State University, with its student population of 64,000 (58,000 of whom are located in Columbus), plays a large role in training a skilled and educated workforce.

Redeveloping Dayton Outside the Air Base

Also on the rise is the nearby city of Dayton, which is working on redeveloping its greater region and downtown to attract more talented residents. Ranked second for economic development by Site Selection among midsized U.S. metropolitan areas in 2014, Dayton is aiming to increase its reputation as an innovation center through such initiatives as the CityWide Development plan and the CitiPlan 2020.

The largest employer in Dayton—in the whole state of Ohio, in fact—is the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which employs more than 26,000 military and civilian workers and contractors. Dayton’s number two employer, with more than 14,000 employees, is Premier Health Partners.

Located between Cincinnati and Columbus, Dayton provides proximity to major metropolitan areas, but with the added benefit of a low cost of living (15.7 percent below the national average), making it a great place to live and work.

With the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services projecting that the state will add 455,000 jobs between 2012 and 2022, largely in the health care and education sectors, Ohio jobs may be the way to go if you’re looking for new employment.

Paula Pant is the founder of award-winning website and a journalist and blogger specializing in personal finance, real estate and lifestyle design. She has been featured more than three dozen publications, including Forbes, DailyFinance, Marketplace Money, Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, and many more.