Sometimes you need to hear the numbers to make a point hit home. Take the perilous state of employment in Ohio: We all know it sucks, we don't need to be reminded that is sucks, but when a study throws out numbers like 78,000 production jobs lost in Cleveland alone in the last ten years, the loss is crystallized in a way anecdotes can't match. On one hand, the stats are imposing and ambiguous and hard to wrap your head around. On the other hand, everyone knows 78,000 is a large friggin' number.
The report on the bleeding of manufacturing workers should come as little surprise to Ohioans. The downturn in that segment of the work force, traditionally well-paying jobs, has largely been blamed for the state’s nagging foreclosure problem and the difficulty in getting Ohio’s economy turned around following the latest recession.
Sister newspaper Business First of Buffalo compiled the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to paint a picture of manufacturing work force change in America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. It found that metro Columbus’ manufacturing worker rolls dropped 39 percent, or 38,800 jobs, in the decade to 61,800.
The 100 metros, taken as a group, lost nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs over the 10 years, equaling a collective decline of 34 percent.
The steepest decline in Ohio was recorded in metro Dayton, once a hub of vehicle assembly for bankrupt General Motors. That region’s manufacturing work force plummeted 53 percent, or 41,600 jobs to 37,600 production jobs as of May.
The deepest net loss of manufacturing jobs among Ohio’s big cities was in Cleveland — it dropped 78,400 jobs to 118,100 production jobs, according to the federal census.