Hiring picks up in Dayton region, raising hopes for 2021

Dayton, Ohio – Local employers stepped up hiring in November, as job growth in the Dayton region accelerated for the first time since late spring.

The local economy added more than twice as many jobs as it did in October, according to preliminary new federal survey data, and job posting in western Ohio have increased significantly from a year ago.

Economic predictions for 2021 also have brightened considerably due to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Currently, many businesses are cautiously optimistic, but it’s unclear how much longer companies that are suffering the most can hang on, said Holly Allen, director of marketing and communications with the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“A recovery is underway for many industries as business leaders realize the pandemic isn’t going away and business must go on, even if it looks different than before,” she said. “However, some sectors are still suffering considerably, especially those in hospitality.”

Employment in the Dayton metro area increased by 0.4% in November, or about 1,500 jobs, according to preliminary, seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That followed four months of slowing job growth.

Payrolls increased 0.2% in October (+600 jobs), after increasing 0.3% in September (1,100 jobs) and 0.4% in August (+1,600 jobs).

Previously, the pace of job growth last accelerated in June (+3.6%). The metro area includes Montgomery, Miami and Greene counties.

The region has seen impressive growth in transportation, logistics and warehousing as consumers turn to ecommerce and delivery services for holiday shopping, said Allen.

Truck drivers, delivery drivers and stock clerks at warehouses, storage yards and stockrooms rank among the occupations with the most online job postings in western Ohio, according to OhioMeansJobs.

Allen also said small, locally-owned retailers have been working hard to get shoppers’ dollars, and some have added staff to handle holiday sales. They too have benefitted from increased online sales.

The coronavirus vaccine gives the business community hope, Allen said, but there are still many unknowns and employers need to be nimble and prepared to change plans quickly.

Overall, employment in the region is down nearly 5% from a year ago, according to not seasonally adjusted data.

But job postings on OhioMeansJobs.com in the 12-county west Ohio region have increased substantially in the second half of this year.

About 29,776 job openings were posted online between Oct. 14 and Nov. 13 for Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Fayette, Preble and Shelby counties.

This was down from the previous reporting period but up nearly 7,940 ads from the same period in 2019, according to OhioMeansJobs.

The occupations with the most job postings were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (1,783 ads), registered nurses (1,564), software developers and applications (1,319), first-line supervisors of retail sales workers (1,223) and retail sales people (1,017).

The employers with the most job ads were Oracle (2,426 ads), Kettering Medical Center (1,533), Kettering Health Network (888), Walmart (826) and the Dollar General (539).

BarryStaff has seen a huge demand for workers since July, and almost every industry and job category has job needs, except for the restaurant industry, said Doug Barry, president of the Dayton-based staffing company.

Job-seekers have a lot of choices and wages are rising because companies are desperate for workers, Barry said.

“We fully expect to see a high demand for workers at all levels throughout 2021,” he said.

Many people have not re-entered the workforce, which has put a strain on manufacturing employers, Barry said, adding that management at some companies have been forced to fill in some job roles.

There’s growing hope about the availability of vaccines and the reopening of the economy, but the economic outlook for the year ahead is slow improvement in the job market, said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate.

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