With the retirement of the Baby Boom generation and the invasion of the millennial generation, no issue for a region matters more than the availability of skilled workers.
Comparing industry job growth and loss in Ohio to North Carolina illustrates why North Carolina is succeeding. The North Carolina economy continues to transition away from manufacturing jobs and has grown in the service, financial activities, professional services, education and health care sectors, the above table illustrates North Carolina’s success in the tech sector with an increase of over 20,000 jobs in the high-wage information sector and nearly 375,000 jobs in the professional and business services sector. Ohio on the other hand has lost over 30,000 jobs in the information sector and has gained nearly 350,000 jobs in the professional and business services sector over this same timeframe.
As the economy transitions from low-skilled manufacturing work to high-skilled, technology-oriented jobs, the availability of college graduates to fill skilled positions is critical. The table below illustrates Ohio is slightly behind most regional competitors and even further behind competitors like North Carolina when it comes to the availability of college graduates to fill high-wage jobs.
All Ohio regions are not on the same equal footing when it comes to educational attainment in the state and this clearly impacts each region’s ability to retain and attract high-skilled jobs in a range of fields. As the table above illustrates, Ohio’s urban and suburban centers have a higher percentage of college degree attainment while the rural and a handful of urban communities have a lower college degree attainment rate. These urban and suburban centers are clearly strong targets to high-skilled jobs in the advanced services, manufacturing, and technology sectors.
Finally, measuring the number of open jobs in relevant occupations is an important measure for companies considering a corporate site location project. All regions face skills gaps in numerous occupations. The chart below looks at the issue from a regional level and illustrates that even a tech center like Raleigh is facing a skills gap when it comes to information technology workers. LinkedIn has 2,374 and Indeed.com has 3,594 open job postings under the category of information technology in the Raleigh market.