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Get Your Ohio Facts Straight

January 15, 2021

Every two years, the Ohio Legislative Service Commission releases its Ohio Facts publication to give lawmakers a broad overview of the state and its economy. The 2020 edition was recently made available online. Some of the more interesting facts in the new edition include:

  • Ohio’s economy remains more concentrated in manufacturing than the U.S. as a whole. Production of goods accounted for 22% of Ohio’s GDP in 2019, higher than the comparable figure for the U.S. (17%).
  • Of Ohio’s 88 counties, 29 gained population between 2010 and 2019. Of the 14 counties with population growth of 3% or higher, six counties are in Central Ohio and four counties are in Southwestern Ohio.
  • In 2019, Ohio’s per-capita income of $50,546 ranked 31st among all states, but was higher than that of all neighboring states except Pennsylvania.

Read the entire document here. 1/11/2021

Allen County’s Bob Cupp, Matt Huffman Set to Lead 134th General Assembly

January 8, 2021

This week marked the opening of Ohio’s 134th General Assembly.

Newly elected Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) was unable to attend his own swearing-in after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Huffman was elected president 31-0. In comments to Statehouse news media, he said that much of the Senate’s early agenda will address unresolved issues from the 133rd General Assembly, particularly House Bill 6.

Huffman has noted his good relationship with House Speaker Bob Cupp, a fellow Lima resident. The two have known one another for 35 years. Cupp was re-elected 91-0 to the House’s top leadership position.

Here’s a look at the freshmen lawmakers in both chambers. 1/5/2021

Brunner Sworn In as Ohio Supreme Court Justice; Republicans Hold 4-3 Majority

January 8, 2021

The Supreme Court of Ohio now has three Democratic justices for the first time since 1994. Justice Jennifer Brunner was officially sworn in this week as the 162nd member of the Court, creating a ratio of four Republicans and three Democrats.

Brunner defeated Judi French, who’d been on the Court since 2013 and was a reliable vote in key cases involving employment law and business regulations. 1/5/2021

Brundrett to Oversee OMA’s Advocacy Operations

January 8, 2021

Rob Brundrett has been promoted as the OMA’s managing director of public policy services. An eight-year veteran of the association, Brundrett succeeds Ryan Augsburger, who was named OMA president in December 2020.

In his new role, Brundrett will lead the OMA’s advocacy program and member engagement via the OMA’s policy committees. He will also continue to serve as secretary of the corporation.

Brundrett is a native of Troy, Ohio. He earned his law degree from Cleveland State University and his undergraduate degree from Xavier University. Prior to joining the OMA staff, Brundrett worked in both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, and also served as legislative director for the Ohio State Auditor. 1/5/2021

Ohio’s Unemployment Insurance Hole Keeps Growing

January 8, 2021

The new year has brought a greater sense of urgency to address Ohio’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund. Employers may be surprised to see their state unemployment tax obligations increase by 0.5%. This increase is part of the state Mutualized Tax that is automatically triggered when the UI mutual account has a negative balance.

After borrowing nearly $1.3 billion from the federal government last year to pay unemployment benefits, Ohio will now be charged interest if no new interest waivers are granted by the federal government starting in March 2021. Ohio manufacturers may ultimately be subject to an increase in Federal Unemployment Tax for 2022 if Ohio’s loan amount remains outstanding as of Jan. 1, 2022 and is not repaid in full by November 2022. (Ohio’s UI fund was last deemed solvent in 1974.)

The Tax Foundation has published this comparison of all 50 states’ UI trust fund balances, as well as each state’s number of current beneficiaries and average weekly benefit. At last check, Ohio was borrowing an average of nearly $7 million a day to pay its UI benefits, according to a report by Fox19 in Cincinnati.

An OMA-supported and Senate-approved measure — Senate Joint Resolution 4 — to allow Ohio to issue bonds to offset the federal loan died in the House at the conclusion of the 133rd General Assembly last month. 1/4/2021

Study: Ohio Suffered Net Population Loss in 2020

January 8, 2021

Ohio continues to lose more people than its attracting, according to the latest migration study by Atlas Van Lines. The Buckeye State was one of 15 that lost more people than it gained last year, with 1,415 inbound moves and 1,796 outbound moves, according to the company. Overall, Midwestern states registered the most outbound moves. 1/5/2021

Survey: U.S. Manufacturers See Solid Growth in December

January 8, 2021

The Institute for Supply Management reported this week that U.S. manufacturing activity continued to expand in December, ending the year at the fastest pace of growth since August 2018. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth last month. Manufacturing employment rebounded in December, expanding for just the second time since July 2019.

The U.S. Manufacturing Outlook Index, published by OMA Connections Partner RSM, has been positive for the five months since August, but the firm notes that “it may be some time before we observe robust readings in manufacturing sentiment.” 1/5/2021

Leading Indicators Project Modest Statewide Jobs Growth Through June

January 8, 2021

The latest leading indicators report by the Department of Job and Family Services shows total employment in Ohio is expected to grow at a modest annual rate of 1.16% for the next six months if the November employment rebound continues. Ohio’s average weekly manufacturing hours increased to 41.8 in November.

Among metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), Columbus is expected to have the highest growth at 1.67%, followed by Cleveland-Elyria at 1.51%, Cincinnati at 0.75% and Canton-Massillon at 0.7%. The MSAs projected to lose jobs include Youngstown-Warren-Boardman (-1.06%), Dayton (-0.45%), Akron (-0.06%), and Toledo (-0.02%). 1/5/2021