In The News

Region leads state in job creation

January 23, 2013  |  Butler County adds year

Butler County adds 3,300 jobs last year

By Chelsey Levingston

The Cincinnati-Middletown metropolitan region added more jobs than any other part of the state in 2012, according to new labor data released Tuesday.

As the economy slowly improves, the entire 15-county Cincinnati metro added 24,600 jobs, according to an analysis by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Cincinnati is Ohio’s third most populous city behind Cleveland and Columbus.

Last year, the Cleveland metropolitan area added 12,800 jobs; Columbus 17,300 jobs and Dayton 2,600 jobs.

Butler County alone added about 3,300 jobs in 2012, putting the county 1,000 jobs away from recovering all the jobs it lost in the recent economic downtown. From December 2011 to December 2012, Butler County, one of the 10-largest counties in the state, grew to total employment of 179,600 people.

Pre-crisis, 180,600 Butler County residents were employed in July 2007, according to data from Ohio Job and Family Services.

The job growth dropped Butler County’s unemployment rate to six percent at the end of last year, or 11,500 people jobless, according to state data. Metro level unemployment has dropped to 6.4 percent.

“Ohio is adding jobs across a variety of sectors and that’s a good sign,” said Ben Johnson, spokesman for the state jobs department, which gives monthly updates on Ohio’s employment levels.

Year-over-year, Ohio added a total 90,700 jobs for total non-agricultural employment of approximately 5,185,000 people as of December 2012, Johnson said. Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate sits at 6.7 percent.

Throughout the year, more than 25,000 jobs were added in Ohio’s private education and health care industry sector. More than 17,000 jobs were added in trade, transportation and utilities. Ohio added more than 15,000 jobs each in the manufacturing and professional business services sectors, Johnson said.

However, while jobless rates are going down, the amount of people participating in the labor force is dropping too. That can be because of the long-term unemployed giving up their job search, retirements or people going back to school to pursue new degrees.

It’s hard to say how much education and retirement decisions are affected by the state of the economy, he said.

“We are waiting to see the labor force start to grow. That is something that has happened after previous recessions and it hasn’t happened in the most recent recovery so far,” he said.

Cincinnati USA Partnership, the group overseeing economic development activities in the region for the JobsOhio Network, forecasts that 2013 regional employment will grow by about two percent.

As of August 2012, the metro area had regained about 97 percent of all jobs lost.

“While the labor market will likely not reach full recovery in 2013, it should approach it by the end of next year,” the economic advisory committee commented in the report “2013 Regional Economic Outlook.”

Amanda Barker of Middletown has her fingers crossed on a job offer from Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, opening March 4.

She completes three months of dealer training this week and recently received her license from the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

“I’m looking for something I can make a career out of,” said Barker, who works a restaurant job now. She trained on Blackjack and other table games.

It’s “a new job making a decent living at least,” and she said there’s not a lot of those out there.

Hamilton’s largest manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America, 8685 Berk Blvd., plans to continue hiring in 2013, the CEO has told the Journal.

After hiring 26 employees during the calendar year 2011, ThyssenKrupp added 51 net new jobs in 2012. As of the end of last year, ThyssenKrupp grew to 248 full-time employees in Hamilton, according to Fabian Schmahl, the chief executive officer of ThyssenKrupp, which makes automobile shock absorbers.

“We are looking forward to further growth,” Schmahl said.

From 2011 to 2012, ThyssenKrupp did an approximately $6 million expansion project to invest in new technologies and equipment, including real-time damping technology transferred from its parent company in Germany.

Unemployment rates consider people who are without work, but actively looking for a job. Local level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.