Non-farm employment in the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) fell slightly in the 12 months ending in August 2012, according to the latest Current Employment Survey (CES) data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). After some initial improvements at the beginning of the year, the region’s economic profile took a step back as Dayton, like much of the U.S., continued to struggle with the lingering effects of the Great Recession
The jobs picture is actually mixed. As noted, the BLS records a small decline in non-farm employment of 1,000 jobs (0.3%). Moody’s Economy.com, however, reports that “total employment” for the Dayton metro has increased by 5,440 jobs (1.3%) from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012. According to this source, office employment increased by 1,125 jobs (0.9%) but industrial employment, long a trouble spot here as in much of the Midwest, was essentially flat. According to the BLS, Manufacturing employment was down 200 jobs (0.5%), while Construction and related sectors saw employment fall by 700 jobs (5.8%). Wholesale Trade was a bright spot, increasing by 300 jobs (2.4%), but Retail Trade fell by 100 jobs (0.3%). Moving to the white-collar sectors, Financial Activities employment increased by 200 jobs (1.2%), while the larger Professional and Business Services sector saw employment fall by 2,200 jobs (4.4%). Education and Health Services employment increased by 800 jobs (1.2%), while the Leisure and Hospitality sector saw employment increase by 1,300 jobs (3.3%). Government employment fell by 300 jobs (0.5%).
Dayton finds itself at odds, economically, in the middle of 2012. The city got a shot of good news in October when the Dayton Business Journal reported that tickets for the 2013 NCAA First Four games sold out, perhaps laying the groundwork for making the games a long-term attraction in the city. “Next year’s event marks the 13th consecutive year that March Madness has kicked off at the University of Dayton Arena,” the Dayton Business Journal reported. The First Four provides an influx of millions of dollars to the Dayton region, as well as an international stage for positive publicity. “In 2013, the economic impact of the First Four and second- and third-round games—all to be played at UD Arena—is estimated to top $10 million.” However, October also saw the release of a study by Bizjournals.com in which “Dayton ranked No. 76 out of the Top 102 cities nationwide in a new economic index for October.” “Dayton had a score of 36.58 based on such factors as earnings growth, private sector job growth, unemployment rate, and housing numbers,” this source reported. However, both the construction and health care sectors of the local economy have a reason to look forward. The Dayton Daily News reported that “Dayton area hospital systems have finished or announced more than $317.8 million of building projects to-date in 2012, according to estimates provided by the health systems.” According to a 2010 Dayton Daily News report, the local area’s major hospital groups had more than $1 billion in projects recently completed or in the works at that time. “This year marked the completion of some of the projects announced in 2010 and a $51 million expansion of Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville,” stated the story which ran October 20th.
Premier Health Partners and Kettering Health Network are among Dayton’s largest employers, with 14,335 and 9,500 employees, respectively. The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, which provides software, business forms, supplies and professional services to automotive dealerships, employs 6,000. By far the largest local employer is Wright-Patterson Air force base, which employs over 27,000. It is, in fact, the largest employer in the state of Ohio.