Local Jobs Study Has Good And Bad News

Aug 28, 2019

A study released Wednesday suggests the Greater Cincinnati area will add more than 67,000 jobs in the coming decade. But many of those positions will be in low-wage areas such as food preparation/serving or transportation/material moving.

Only "seven of the top 25 fastest-growing occupations pay at least a self-sufficient wage."  For the study that amount was $41,198 in households with one adult and one preschooler.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati compiled the report for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, Strive Partnership, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and the Women's Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

The study looked at the future employment picture for the Cincinnati Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes five counties in Southwest Ohio, seven counties in Northern Kentucky, and three counties in Southeast Indiana.

The research found that employment in the Cincinnati MSA is expected to increase by 6.2% from 2018 to 2028, or by 67,505 jobs. By 2028, the region is expected to have 1.16 million jobs. National employment is expected to increase by 9.3% during the same period.

From 2008 to 2018, the Cincinnati MSA added 44,000 jobs.

Research found that 31% of jobs added in the coming decade will require a bachelor's degree or higher.  It also found that skilled trades and information technology positions can be "entry points to higher wage, even without a college degree."

"As we look forward, it will be imperative that we continue to seek opportunities for growth, especially to support the creation and attraction of high-skilled, high-wage jobs in our region," said Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Chamber, in a written statement. "In addition, we will continue to seek ways to increase opportunities for lower-wage and entry-level workers in our region."

The study also highlighted disparities in the Greater Cincinnati job market.

The research found "female workers are 31% more likely than male workers to earn less than the self-sufficiency standard."

Median annual earnings in 2018 for white workers was $39,332, or 95% of the self-sufficiency standard. By comparison, the median earnings for African American workers was $26,051, or 63% of the self-sufficiency standard.

The study found "African American workers are underrepresented in the five highest-paying occupation groups and overrepresented in the five lowest-paying occupation groups relative to their overall share of the MSA workforce."

"The data helps us visualize the prominent inequities in our community for women and people of color," said Meghan Cummings, executive director of the Women's Fund, in a press release. "As our job market grows, we must act intentionally to create collective economic growth in our region."

The study also found the Cincinnati MSA experienced fast population growth and job growth from 2010 to 2017 than some peer areas like St. Louis and Cleveland.