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New Report Identifies Threats to Ohio's Manufacturing Sector

photo of job losses in Ohio

The number of manufacturing jobs in Ohio has slowly ticked up in recent months, but a new report finds several trends that could undermine the future of the industry.

The report is by the left-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio. And its main message can be summed up as, “nice work, IF you can get it.” The average salary for a production job is $59,000. But the report's author, Michael Shields, says those well-paying gigs are becoming harder to get, especially for young people.

“That's really important when we're talking about folks who have a high school diploma and, haven't gone to college, which is still more than half the population of the state.”

Other trends he's worried about include an aging workforce, employers' increasing use of part-time labor, and a persistent wage gap between white and non-white workers. He says the state can address these issues by supporting unions and investing in apprenticeship programs. And while these measures won't bring manufacturing back to its peak, he says it would help keep more of those jobs in Ohio.