Opinion: Ohio’s outlook is strong

Ray Paoletta is a junior political science major. Contact him at [email protected]

Ray Paoletta

Four years ago, Ohio’s unemployment rate sat at 9.3 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today, that number has dropped to 4.8 percent, while the national average unemployment rate is 5.6 percent.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, employment increased by 5,100 jobs in December. The December jobs report showed positive signs for a rebounding Ohio economy, and the outlook moving forward is strong for Ohio.

In addition to the most recent jobs report, the Columbus Dispatch reports that the job outlook for jobs in 2015 will be at its highest point since 2006, with fields across the board expected to increase hiring and wages expected to increase for many workers. Engineers, nurses, truck drivers, warehouse workers and healthcare aids are among the many fields that are projected to see increased hiring. The wide variety of job openings gives Ohioans with different skill and education levels the ability to compete for a job. 

The report also states that based on a CareerBuilder survey, 45 percent of companies intend to increase their minimum wages by $2-3 dollars this year. Increased number of workers and increases in wages will increase consumption and investment, which will further help spur economic growth.

Additionally, the outlook should be good news for those seeking to break away from the chains of poverty, as they will come face-to-face with more opportunities than any other year since 2006.

Although the report stated an expected increase of number of jobs in Ohio between 2012 and 2022 is 455,000 jobs with an annual opening of 178,000 jobs per year, Ohio must not let up on their efforts to become a state of many opportunities. The policies put in place over the last four years have had a positive effect on Ohio, but more work can be done.

Workers with some levels of higher education, certification, skill, etc. are more desirable and tend to make more money. The Ohio government should find ways to make both four year and two-year skill degrees more affordable. As businesses increase the number of people they hire, the workforce will need to have the skills and/or training to work these jobs. Secondly, the state needs to continue to pursue policies that reduce burdensome regulations that are turn-offs to businesses. Lastly, the state should continue to reduce the tax burden on the middle and lower class workers. If a hard working Ohioans earns a well-paying, dependable job, they should be able to keep as much of their paycheck as possible. 

The bottom line is that Ohio is on an upward projector. However, it is not the time to slow down. The policies over the last four years have made Ohio an appealing state for business and the outlook over the next several years shows that. Businesses are moving to Ohio, and entrepreneurs are seeing Ohio as a great place to start new businesses. Ohio is working, and it is a great time to be in Ohio.