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IndustryNet Blog

Ohio manufacturing job growth picks up speed

Posted by IndustryNet on Thursday, January 18, 2018

Manufacturing job growthAccording to new data collected by IndustryNet, manufacturing employment in Ohio edged up over the past year, with steady gains posted across a number of sectors.

IndustryNet reports the state added 5,217 jobs between September 2016 and September 2017, amounting to a half percent gain.

This represents the sixth straight year Ohio has gained manufacturing jobs, as the state continues to recover from the severe losses suffered during the recession.

Once at the center of rust-belt manufacturing losses Ohio's six-year winning streak echoes similar progress made by states like Indiana and Michigan, and stands in contrast to neighboring states that continue to bleed jobs like Pennsylvania and New York.

This article will take a closer look at the major developments that have occurred in Ohio since the recession, and examine the state's outlook in light of new federal and state policies. We'll explore IndustryNet's extensive regional and historical data for the state, and delve into some of the specific site selection factors that continue to make Ohio a great place for manufacturing.

Click here to see the infographic on growth in Ohio's manufacturing sector.

Ohio manufacturing: the year in review

Industrial companies in Ohio added more than 5,000 jobs between September 2016 and September 2017, a half percent gain.

In contrast to previous years in which growth was attributed almost exclusively to the auto industry, gains over the past year were seen in a spectrum of industries, indicating Ohio's manufacturing growth is strengthening across the board.

Notable gains were recorded in stone/clay/glass; chemical processing; rubber/plastics; food processing; and industrial machinery. Transportation equipment, which has driven Ohio's growth in the post-recession era, surging 14% between 2011 and 2016, leveled out over the past year, with employment remaining steady at 94,000 workers.manufacturing job growth

Taking a look at regional data, IndustryNet shows Ohio industry has strengthened across most regions of the state, with employment up 2.1% in Southeast Ohio and 1.7% in both Northeast and North Central Ohio.

The state's industrial workforce grew 1.4% in the Southwest and 1.1% in the Northwest; while jobs remained steady in South Central Ohio.

Ohio's major industrial cities, however, did not fare as well, with slight losses reported in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.

Next, we'll take a look at Ohio's remarkable growth in the post-recession era.

Trading steel mills for 3D printers: Ohio manufacturing in the post-recession era


A decade ago, Ohio was home to 19,960 industrial companies employing 1,045,464, a far cry from the 21,000 manufacturers and 1.3 million workers IndustryNet recorded in 1994.

Those numbers declined precipitously during the recession. By September of 2010 the number of companies dwindled to 18,377 and the workforce shrank to 859,747. Ohio was undoubtedly one of the hardest-hit states during the downturn, and though gains have been steady in the state's industrial sector since the recession, they have not been strong enough to recoup the nearly 200,000 jobs lost.

Today, the state is home to 15,186 industrial companies employing 681,342.foundry_steel

Layoffs and plant closings had begun to slow between September 2009 and September 2010, though the state still posted a massive 30,000 job loss.

Industries related to the housing sector continued to slash jobs, while the recession gutted the auto industry with major losses suffered by the Big Three including GM's plants in Mansfield and Defiance, Ford's assembly plant in Avon Lake and Chrysler's plant in Perrysburg.

Despite the odds, new manufacturers began to break ground in Ohio over that year, including electric car manufacturer CODA Automotive, which established a new facility in Columbus. TMK IPSCO opened a pipe finishing plant in Brookfield and Pipe Coil Technology broke ground on its first US factory in Highland Heights.

Other new plants included PBM's infant formula manufacturing plant in Covington and shaving cream manufacturer Barbasol's facility in Ashland. The nearly-shuttered Hugo Boss plant in Brooklyn remained open (and hung on until 2015 when it was bought by W. Diamond).


Ohio finally achieved some stability in its manufacturing sector in the 2010-2011 survey period, with losses amounting to a slight half percent.

This was the first year the state�s ailing transportation equipment sector added jobs, with employment up one percent. The auto bailout started to help the Big Three reclaim some equilibrium, while industries related to the auto industry like industrial machinery and fabricated metals held steady over the year.

In addition, the state began to invest heavily in fostering innovation; cultivating a skilled workforce, and improving competitiveness, trading its long-held "Rust Belt" moniker for Tech Belt.These investments were just starting to pay off, with ventures like the establishment of Motoman Robotics in Miamisburg, but would gain momentum in the years to come.

Meanwhile, a number of other expansions were announced, most notably Dannon's yogurt plant in Minster; Honda's transmission plant in Russells Point; Latrobe Specialty Steel in Wauseon; and Tenneco Automotive in Milan.

In addition, Coll Materials Inc. announced plans to open a new recycled plastics facility in South Whitehall Township.

This was also the year Republican Governor John Kasich took office, with promises to revive the state's industrial sector.


This survey period marked the first industrial job gain posted by the state since before the recession. Growth in transportation equipment gained momentum, adding more than double the number of jobs it had in the year before.Ohio manufacturing job growth

Top sectors like primary metals, fabricated metals, industrial machinery all gained jobs, boosted the auto industry.

In addition, demand for machinery and equipment increased as the fracking boom began to take hold.

The state continued to improve its business climate, lowering business costs, as well as continuing to invest in infrastructure and its workforce.

The state's recovery this year was robust, with a number of new operations cropping up all across the state.

Hamlet Protein and MITEC Powertrain each established a new facility, while Isofoton broke ground on a photovoltaic plant in Napoleon.

H & M Metal Processing set up shop in Kenmore, while Parker Hannifin established a major vehicle parts assembly plant in Columbus.

A number of expansions were also afoot, including Newell Rubbermaid's plant in Mogadore; Timken Steel in Faircrest; Giesecke & Devrient in Twinsburg; Republic Steel in Lorain; Laminate Technologies in Tiffin; and Nestle in Cleveland.


Ohio posted its second year of gains, inching up another half percent. Industrial machinery was a big winner that year, with jobs edging up 2.5%, while fabricated metals rose 2.9% as orders for steel and machinery increased in response to the oil boom. IndustryNet also recorded strong gains in medical instruments/related products; chemical products; and food processing.

Automakers and related suppliers were in full swing, with several expansions announced over the year. Honda made big news with a $125 million expansion of its engine plant in Anna, while Ford announced an expansion of its plant in Cleveland and auto supplier Miba Sinteri unveiled plans to expand its facility in McConnelsville.

In addition, Niagara Bottling broke ground on a new PET bottling plant in Gahanna; electrode-maker GrafTech established a new facility in Sharon Center; and titanium products maker Cristal announced plans to expand its Ashtabula factory.


In this year, Ohio added double the number of jobs it had over the 2012-2013 survey period, with employment inching up 1%, or by nearly 8,000 jobs.

Gains were led by the transportation equipment sector, which surged 6.1%, and the oil/gas industry played no small part, with employment in that sector skyrocketing 23%.

A number of new facilities set up shop in the state to service oil and gas production in the Utica and Marcellus shales -- Anchor Drilling; Evets Fabrication Services; and MarkWest Energy, just to name a few.

metalfabrication2Foreign investment continued to take hold, headlined by China-based Fuyao's announcement of its new auto glass facility planned for Moraine.

In addition, UGN Inc. broke ground on an auto plant in Monroe, while expansions were announced at an SFS location in Medina; and an Airstream RV plant in Jackson Center.

The state's medical instruments/related products industry also added jobs, up nearly 6%, and food processing, fabricated metals, industrial machinery, and electronics posting solid gains.


This was the strongest year for Ohio manufacturing, with the state adding nearly 10,000 jobs between September 2014 and September 2015.

Healthy gains were posted across a variety of sectors, most notable in transportation equipment, which grew by 3.6%. Over the year, Ford announced plans to shift production from Mexico to its facility in Avon Lake, and UGN Inc. opened its auto parts factory in Monroe. Expansions were also announced at several auto suppliers in the state such as Johnson Controls in Toledo and Pennex Aluminum in Wellsville.


In this year, Ohio's manufacturing growth began to lose momentum, with the state's industrial workforce growing by about a third of a percent or 2,000 jobs. Gains were largely felt in the transportation equipment sector, with the industry's workforce growing nearly 5% in this year.

Bright spots included Dana Automotive's plans to establish a new facility in Toledo, while Detroit Manufacturing unveiled plans to establish a plant in Toledo to supply Dana's Jeep Wrangler production.

Other industries either remaining steady or posting slight gains. The continuing decline in oil prices affected the state's energy sector, while a strong dollar put a dent in exports.


This past year, we saw hiring continue at the massive Fuyao Glass plant in Moraine.

This is the world's largest automotive glass facility, and is expected to grow to 3,000 workers from its current 2,000 workers. This helped invigorate the state's stone/clay/glass sector, which grew by 6%.

For the first time in six years, however, transportation equipment added no new net jobs, echoing similar trends seen in traditionally strong auto states like Tennessee and Kentucky.

A general slowdown in the auto sales is to blame, attributed to a number of factors such as the high cost of urban living and car-sharing trends, as well as breakthroughs in engineering increasing the longevity of the average American-made vehicle.

Still, the strength recorded across multiple sectors in Ohio promises much for the future -- a diverse economy being one of the pillars of a healthy manufacturing sector.

Bright spots included the establishment of Recleim's appliance recycling facility in Lima, and Dana, Inc's axle manufacturing plant in Toledo. Major expansions were also announced at Johnson Electric's Vandalia plant and Amcor Rigid Plastic's packaging facility in Bellevue.

Innovation in the Buckeye State

In 2013, the Obama Administration chose Youngstown, OH as the new home of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), an innovation hub with a focus on additive manufacturing.

The state has since grown a reputation as a national center for innovation in advanced manufacturing. Not only has Ohio emerged as a key player in the development and advancement of fuel cell technology, state economic development agencies such as Ohio Third Frontier have helped fund a number of these enterprises.

3DPrintinghightechmanufacturingThe Administration's steady focus on fostering innovation hubs in Ohio and across the nation played well to Ohio's strengths, which included a highly educated workforce and availability of capital funding.

This focus on technology and innovation, both on the state and federal level helped launch Ohio back into the manufacturing spotlight.

Many credited Governor Kasich for Ohio's remarkable manufacturing rebound, though the Obama Administration also claimed the return of manufacturing to the state was largely due to the auto bailout.

Interestingly, this was a point of contention during the 2012 presidential election, between Kasich, who supported Mitt Romney, and the Obama re-election campaign.

Nonetheless, the state has made great strides in improving Ohio's business climate, accelerating improvements in some crucial site selection factors like infrastructure and In 2010, Ohio was listed as the 34th most business-friendly state in the nation. Seven years later, the state was ranked as the 16th-most friendly in 2017.

Ohio manufacturing: looking ahead

Ohio was at center of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, which envisioned a renaissance in the state's manufacturing sector. Reviving Youngstown's long-idled steel industry was among his key campaign promises, despite the town's growing reputation as a hub for advanced manufacturing.trump_ohio

Jump ahead to 2018, however, and it looks as though Trump administration policies could have a lasting impact on Ohio.

The state's lagging steel industry could potentially see a revival with the Keystone XL pipeline in the works (with orders to use U.S. steel). Renegotiating trade deals could have a lasting effect on many Ohio industries that have struggled with global competition in recent years.

Infrastructure projects, the easing of coal and fracking regulations -- not to mention the massive tax reform bill signed into law, could all have a major impact on Ohio's industrial sector in the years ahead.

It remains to be seen, especially in the case of trade deal negotiations, if these sweeping changes will ultimately benefit Ohio manufacturing.

Next, we'll take a closer look at Ohio's manufacturing sector as it is now, exploring its major industrial cities and regions, as well as its top companies.

Ohio manufacturing: by the numbers

Leading Ohio Industries by Employment:

17% Industrial machinery and equipment
12% Fabricated metal products
11% Transportation equipment
10% Rubber and miscellaneous plastic products
8% Food and kindred products

Top manufacturing companies in Ohio

GE Aviation Systems, LLC (Cincinnati) - 6,500
AK Steel Corp. (West Chester) - 6,100
FCA US, LLC (Toledo) - 5,000
Honda Of America Mfg., Inc. (Marysville) - 5,000
General Motors Co., Lordstown Complex (Lordstown) - 4,500

Ohio counties with the most manufacturing jobs:

Cuyahoga - 123,411
Hamilton - 89,390
Franklin - 78,489
Montgomery - 47,939
Summit - 46,328

Ohio cities with the most manufacturing jobs:

Cincinnati - 79,661
Cleveland - 62,824
Columbus - 48,096
Dayton - 27,585
Toledo - 23,404

For more information on Ohio manufacturing companies

MNI's extensive manufacturing data powers IndustryNet, an industrial marketplace that connects buyers with suppliers of 10,000+ products and services. IndustryNet allows users to search and source more than ten thousand types of products, parts, supplies, and services for free. IndustryNet lists every U.S. manufacturer plus thousands of wholesalers & distributors and industrial service providers. To connect with industrial suppliers in Ohio and across the U.S. start your free search on IndustryNet. Or, to access detailed profiles of Ohio's 16,000 industrial companies and their 55,000 executives, learn more about IndustryNet's database subscription.



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