Ohio’s Economic Diversification and JobsOhio are Driving Major Growth

Ohio not only benefits from having the seventh largest economy among the fifty states, but it also has substantial economic diversification and operates one of the best-funded state economic development programs in the nation through JobsOhio.  

JobsOhio is the state’s private-sector economic development corporation.  Many states have private economic development corporations but unlike any other state, JobsOhio has a multi-million-dollar funding source that permits JobsOhio to fund its own economic development incentive programs and support regional economic development organizations. JobsOhio recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and the success of the organization is unquestioned.

Ohio has increased Industrial Diversity each year since 2013 and improved at the fastest pace among regional peers and outpaced various coastal states.  The industries helping to diversify Ohio’s economy include energy (traditional + green); semiconductors/chipmaking; data centers;

cell & gene therapy; EVs; and venture & growth capital.  In fact, according to Moody’s Industrial Diversity Index which gauges the extent to which an area’s economy resembles the national economy, Ohio ranks 9th among the fifty states for industrial diversity.

Energy is a big Ohio business.  As the map below illustrates, Ohio is a major leader in energy production which serves as critical infrastructure for many industrial corporate site location projects. The cumulative oil and gas investment in Ohio from 2011 to June 2021 totaled $97.8 B, and natural gas, natural gas liquids, and petrochemical supply chain industries continue to bring high-wage jobs.

Ohio’s recent corporate site location investments are substantial as well with wins all over the state. In January 2022, Intel announced plans to invest more than $20B in the construction of two new leading-edge chip factories in Ohio to boost production to meet the demand for advanced semiconductors, power a new generation of innovative products from Intel, and serve the needs of foundry customers. Spanning nearly 1,000 acres in Licking County, the “mega-site” can accommodate up to eight chip factories as well as supporting operations and ecosystem partners and is projected to create up to 3000 permanent jobs and to have a $2.8 B impact on Ohio’s GDP. Site excavation work began in the summer of 2022 with production expected to come online in 2025. In November 2022, Bechtel was selected to design and build Phase 1 of the project. New factories have a goal to be powered by 100% renewable energy, achieve net positive water use, and achieve zero total waste to landfill in support of Intel’s 2030 sustainability goals.

Data centers have been another big focus for the state of Ohio. The Buckeye state has gained 26

enterprise data center sites and 97 colocation data center sites are driven by Ohio’s substantial Data Center Sales Tax incentive program as well as local property tax abatements.

Ohio also has recent corporate site location victories in the cell and gene therapy industry. Cutting-edge medicines that offer patients cures to previously uncurable, genetic, and oncologic diseases.  Industry comprised of four stakeholders: research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, contract drug manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), and clinical research organizations (CROs), and this market is expected to reach $12.6B globally by 2026.   Also, driven by innovation at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the Dayton Region, Ohio is focused on advanced air mobility with the creation of the National Advanced Air Mobility

Center of Excellence. Per a 2021 Crown Consulting Study, the potential for at least $13 B in economic activity in Ohio over the next 25 years with timely FAA approvals.

JobsOhio Target Industry Sector Job Growth

JobsOhio Targeted Sector2010 (000s)2022 (000s)Key Themes Impacting Outlook
Logistics & Distribution135226E-Commerce, Omni-Channel Distribution, Data Driven Supply Chains
Advanced Manufacturing202212Additive/3D Printing, Advanced Materials, Automation/Robotics, Reshoring
Financial Services161173FinTech, InsurTech, Cost Efficiencies
Information Technology76106Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Digital Transformation, Cybersecurity
Automotive82100Smart Mobility, Electrification, Lightweighting, Chip Shortage
Military & Federal9594Capitalize on Surge in Federal Investment, Advanced Air Mobility Initiatives
Healthcare7898Gene & Cell Therapy, Cutting-Edge R&D, Critical Goods Leadership
Energy & Chemicals8588Leverage World’s Lowest Natural Gas Prices, Improved Pipeline Infrastructure
Food & Agribusiness6072Complete Ground-to-Consumer Value Chain, Cold Storage
Aerospace & Aviation3434OEMs and Supply Chains Recovering, eVTOLsand Autonomous Mobility

As the table above illustrates, Ohio has added nearly 200,000 jobs in the key targeted industries identified by JobsOhio with a payroll increase of $11.5 B. 

Ohio’s economic development strategy to create a private sector economic development corporation and fund it by transferring ownership of the state of Ohio liquor profits is paying huge dividends for the Buckeye state.