2016’s Best & Worst Ohio Cities for Job Seekers
Ohio might be known for its seemingly endless, chilly winters and heated college-football rivalry with Michigan, but it’s also begun cultivating a reputation as a solid labor market. In July, the Buckeye State’s unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent, below the nation’s 4.9 percent, after 43 straight months of disappointment.
And a shortage of jobs isn’t likely in the coming years. According to an employment-outlook report, the number of jobs in Ohio is projected to grow by 178,000 annually through 2022. But while skilled manufacturing and transportation and trade are the state’s leading industries, this is perhaps a better time to advance in the education and health care fields, which are expected to add the most workers.
Those lucky enough to find employment also can anticipate bigger paychecks. Between 2014 and 2015, per-capita personal income increased by nearly 3 percent to $43,478, pushing its national rank from 37th to 29th. This year, Moody’s Analytics expects that figure to grow another 5.2 percent.
As in any state, however, local employment scenes and workers’ salaries vary in strength from city to city. WalletHub’s analysts therefore compared 145 Ohio cities to determine the best markets for job seekers. In making such a comparison, we examined each city across 16 key metrics that speak to its employment environment. Our data set ranges from “job opportunities” to “monthly median starting salary” to “percentage of employers providing benefits.” Scroll down for our findings, additional expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.
‘Job Market’ Rank
‘Socioeconomic Environment’ Rank
|5||Rocky River, OH||68.96||4||29|
|10||Seven Hills, OH||65.97||12||27|
|13||Bay Village, OH||65.21||5||83|
|18||Grove City, OH||63.37||23||46|
|19||Blue Ash, OH||63.29||7||81|
|21||Broadview Heights, OH||62.59||33||23|
|27||Avon Lake, OH||61.67||21||76|
|36||Upper Arlington, OH||60.16||54||25|
|39||New Philadelphia, OH||60.00||27||78|
|47||North Canton, OH||58.89||66||19|
|50||Parma Heights, OH||58.28||52||47|
|52||North Olmsted, OH||58.17||59||61|
|56||Cuyahoga Falls, OH||57.79||57||74|
|66||North Royalton, OH||56.10||73||63|
|69||University Heights, OH||55.75||86||34|
|73||West Carrollton, OH||54.95||76||65|
|75||Shaker Heights, OH||54.71||91||37|
|95||Van Wert, OH||52.52||64||126|
|96||Bowling Green, OH||52.48||114||32|
|101||Richmond Heights, OH||51.63||99||96|
|103||Huber Heights, OH||50.97||106||104|
|107||South Euclid, OH||50.57||120||52|
|108||North Ridgeville, OH||50.51||122||48|
|120||Cleveland Heights, OH||48.69||133||31|
|133||Washington Court House, OH||44.89||131||129|
|135||Garfield Heights, OH||44.70||132||121|
|140||East Cleveland, OH||43.45||140||102|
|143||Maple Heights, OH||42.46||141||110|
Ask the Experts
In search of additional insights into the Ohio job scene, we posed the following questions to a panel of experts in the fields of human resources, economics and more. Click on the panelists’ profiles to read their bios and thoughts on the following key questions:
- Will the IT industry still play a major role in Ohio’s economy in the coming decades? What other fields are expected to grow the most in the near future?
- Which are the biggest challenges faced by Ohio’s job seekers today?
- Looking just within Ohio, what are the most common mistakes that job seekers make?
- What types of programs have proven effective in helping unemployed persons to find work in Ohio?
- Should benefits be extended in Ohio for unemployed people who have been out of work for a long period?
- Should unemployed people from Ohio that receive help from state and local administration be required to do something in order to earn their unemployment benefits? If so, what?
In order to identify the best and worst Ohio cities for employment, WalletHub’s analysts compared 145 cities using 16 relevant metrics that speak to two key factors important to job seekers: the local “Job Market” and the area’s “Socioeconomic Environment.”
Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with the weighted sum of each city’s individual-metric scores comprising its overall score, which we used to construct the final ranking. Below is a complete list of the metrics we used, along with their corresponding weights.
The cities in our sample were selected based on population size and the availability of reliable data. In addition, we considered the city proper in each case, excluding surrounding metro areas from our analysis.
Job Market - Total Points: 67
- Job Opportunities: Double Weight (~14.89 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated by subtracting the unemployed rate from the number of job openings per number of population in the labor force.
- Employment Growth: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
Note: This metric measures the rate of annual job growth, adjusted for the working-age population growth.
- Monthly Median Starting Salary: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
- Unemployment Rate for High School Graduates: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Unemployment Rate for Residents with at Least a Bachelor's Degree: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Industry Variety: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Full-Time Employment: Half Weight (~3.72 Points)
Note: This metric measures the number of part-time employees for every 100 full-time employees.
- Share of Workers in Poverty: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of persons employed but living under the poverty line.
- Share of Persons with Disabilities Employed: Half Weight (~3.72 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of persons with disabilities that are employed.
Socioeconomic Environment - Total Points: 33
- Median Annual Income: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
- Work & Commute Time: Half Weight (~2.75 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated by adding the average commute time with the length of the average workday.
- Health Benefits: Half Weight (~2.75 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of employees with private health insurance.
- Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: (median annual household income divided by median house price) plus (median annual household income divided by price of rent for a two-bedroom apartment).
- Annual Transportation Costs: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
- Safety: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This metric measures the crime rate.
- Social Life: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This metric measures the number of cafés per capita plus number of nightlife options per capita.
Sources: Data used to create these rankings were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Council for Community and Economic Research, Areavibes, Indeed and Yelp.com.
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