You all know I don’t hide my jingoism for Columbus and Ohio; so here’s some more. This Business First article discusses the fact that Ohio added the third largest number of jobs in a December to January tally, behind only Texas and New York. I will take issue though, with the expert opinion offered in the article that this is in part, because Ohio lost so many jobs in the recession. I don’t think that logic holds.
States like Michigan that fell far stayed generally down. They are not racking up large job gains like Ohio is. See this link for a recent scorecard. Michigan added roughly half of the numbers Ohio did. If falling far predicted outsized gains later Michigan would be a winner now.
I can think of many better reasons to attribute the recent outsized growth in Ohio, without getting political, here are three:
Diversity – Ohio has a much more diverse economy than many states. While we benefit from the auto industry through Honda and other OEMs and their suppliers, we also have a growing and strengthening advanced technology manufacturing sector for alternative energies and advanced materials. Ohio has also been growing stronger through the service sector with thriving insurance, information, and banking firms.
The new, new thing – Resources like The Ohio State University, Battelle, the Third Frontier program, and the myriad polymer and advanced materials resources in northeast Ohio bode well for future job creation. Ohio focused on polymers from the beginning and as a result now produces the world in these products. There is no reason that we cannot do the same for solar, batteries, or algae technologies as well.
Business Growth – Ohio is the home to 27 of the Fortune 500. Many of these firms, such as Cardinal Health, Limited Brands, Nationwide, AEP etc., began here and never moved. They found all the people they needed to grow and develop right here. While I think Ohio’s focus on being friendly to a diverse range of businesses has ebbed and flowed over the years, I think a great deal is being done to make Ohio more attractive to businesses and the people they employ.
I know, this was more ‘Coolhio’ than ‘Coolumbus’, but remember, Columbus and central Ohio are the fastest growing part of what is still the best state in the union!Author’s note: The “Coolumbus” tag within my blog is a response to the fact that I don’t see enough about our great city and its many cool things. So ridicule if you will, this is just my idea of what’s cool in Columbus or “Coolumbus”. Click here to read other Coolumbus posts.