Ohio's manufacturing industry is slowly recouping since the recession. Over the past four years, the state has added more than 54,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector, according to Ohio's Bureau of Labor Market Information. This is the best job growth over the past 20 years.
Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers Association, said in an interview with the Columbus CEO the state was hit pretty hard by the last recession.
"Coming out of the last deep recession, when all the cuts were made in budgets and head counts and some of the plants, there was tremendous caution about hiring," Burkland said. "That's gone now. People are hiring. There's a great deal of confidence generally because of the competitive conditions in Ohio."
Manufacturing is an important part of Ohio's economy. This sector accounts for 17 percent of Ohio's economy, and 12.8 percent of its workforce is in the industry. The number of jobs in the manufacturing industry has steadily been declining since it's peak in in 1979 when 19.4 million were employed throughout the United States.
Even though figures have yet to even come close to the 1979 peak, states like Ohio are still adding a healthy amount of manufacturing jobs. In January, 668,600 people were employed by manufacturing businesses. Economist George Zeller said the current rate of job growth rate is great, but it may take awhile to reach peak numbers.
"The ongoing current recovery is wonderful, but at the slow rate of recovery that we are seeing, it will take nearly 17 years for Ohio to recover the manufacturing jobs that it lost just since 2007," Zeller said. "To recover the manufacturing jobs that Ohio lost since 2001, at the current growth rate, it will take a stunning 45 years."
Businesses who are looking to add experienced workers to their staff can use manufacturing recruiters in their search.