Jobs

Minimum wage activists demonstrated in Dayton in December 2013.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Today is October 10, 10/10—and it’s been declared National Minimum Wage Day. $10.10 is the new minimum wage many advocates are calling for. Right now Ohio’s minimum wage is $7.95, and it will automatically go up to $8.10 on January 1, 2015.

Yellow Springs packs its downtown twice a year for the street fair.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The village of Yellow Springs, on the surface, is hopping economically. Property values are headed up, and downtown vacancies are low. Antioch College is growing and just opened a renovated fitness and wellness center. But just below the surface, the village has a lot of the same issues as other parts of the region. A lack of well-paying jobs means it’s becoming more of a bedroom community.

 27 foot 1987 Airstream Sovereign built at the Jackson Center Ohio Airstream factory.
Tdenton/Wikimedia Commons

The trailer company Airstream has announced a major expansion at its facility in Jackson Center, Ohio, 56 miles north of Dayton. The company is investing $5.9 million dollars in the project, and its parent company, Thor Industries, says the millions they’re putting into the expansion will allow them to increase office capacity and production of their famous silver travel-trailers by 70%.

Airstream is Jackson Center’s biggest employer, according to Village Administrator Bruce Metz.

Dollar General has opened hundreds of stores a year for the last few years.
Random Retail / Flickr/Creative Commons

This weekend is the grand opening of a new Dollar General in Vandalia; the chain has been growing steadily in the region even as another discount store, K-Mart, has announced closures in Fairborn and Springfield.

Ever since the recession, low-cost discount stores like Kmart have seen competition from below, with smaller discount stores with low prices experiencing record growth. Dollar General has been one of the biggest winners: all over the country the stores are getting bigger and offering more, including cheap grocery products.

An airplane at the Vectren Dayton Airshow, a yearly event at the Dayton Airport.
eawortman / Flickr/Creative Commons

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.

The logo for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
WOSU

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.

Nicola / Flickr/Creative Commons

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.

wright-patterson air force base gates
Flickr Creative Commons user soundfromwayout

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.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

What if everything in your favorite store was 30 percent off, or even 10 percent...every single day? Well, in theory, that’s what the employee discount is about. You work somewhere, you love the stuff, you buy the stuff. Apple, J-Crew and Barnes and Noble are just a few of the retailers known for offering good deals to their workers. And almost all stores offer some kind of discount.

Annie Chapman has worked at Foy’s Halloween and Variety in Fairborn for ten years.

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