Janet Bednarek, a professor of history at the University of Dayton, specializes in airports—and in the idea of the airport as a hub for economic growth. She thinks airports bring a lot of potential, but there are also limitations; ultimately, she says, corporations decide where they want to go, and an “if you build it, they will come” approach can backfire.
“Dayton has always tried to capitalize on the fact that we’re at the intersection of two major interstates,” says Bednarek. “It just seems like the ability to capitalize on that hasn’t seemed to happen yet.”
This Labor Day, there are a record low number of Ohioans in the labor force—fewer than there have been since October 1978. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports just 59 percent of Americans 16 and over have declared that they are part of the labor force; in Ohio, that figure is just under 63 percent, a 34-year low. That’s not the only thing that has the progressives at Policy Matters Ohio worried. Amy Hanauer says the group’s annual Labor Day report also shows the state lost more than 2.3 percent of its jobs since 2005, while the country added 3.8 percent in that same period.
State and national jobless numbers are closely watched as economic indicators, and the unemployment figures can also give useful clues for those seeking their first full-time job.
Last month, 323,000 Ohio adults were actively seeking work and not able to find a job, and the unemployment rate crept up for the first time in several months. The figure includes recent high school and college graduates looking for that first job, or an entry level job.
Whirlpool Corporation is breaking ground Wednesday on an expanded KitchenAid factory in Greenville, 40 miles northwest of Dayton, with plans to add hundreds of jobs in the next few years.
The Michigan-based company has been expanding its manufacturing operations in parts of the U.S. since about 2010, and now plans to spend $40 million over five years to nearly double the size of the Greenville facility, where it makes stand mixers and a few other appliances.
Thousands of civilian workers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are being offered the option to retire early or take a buyout. The buyouts are an effort to prepare for a cut of 372 positions at the base this fall.
Many of the positions to be cut aren’t currently filled, and by offering early retirement and buyout options, Wright-Patt officials hope to move those who stay into open jobs elsewhere on the base.
“We just want to make sure that we take care of our people, that’s our key objective,” says Wright-Patt spokesman Daryl Mayer.