By State Representative Craig S. Riedel

In light of the end of the year quickly approaching, I want to take this time to discuss the status of Ohio’s economy. A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) reflects that the improvements Ohio has initiated over the past few years have paid off generously.

One example of a successful change is House Bill 3, of the 131st General Assembly, that lowered certain corporate and trade filing fees collected by the Secretary of State for new small businesses by 21 percent. This bill also provides that all Ohio-based companies in good standing with the state have the same access to employer application services available through the OhioMeansJobs website. This small change allows the state to continue to break records for new business creation.

More recently in 2018, our state’s private sector jobs have grown 39 percent faster than the nation. In September, it was reported that Ohio had its largest job gain in 21 years. This is incredible, and with the fact that we have added 104,600 jobs from last September to this September and 640,000 jobs since 2010, Ohioans have more opportunity than ever before.

Currently our state’s job hunting website, OhioMeansJobs.com, has over 140,000 available jobs listed, half of which pay at least $50,000 or more. Coupled with our recent partnership with Lynda.com, LinkedIn’s online learning platform, Ohioans are able to learn a diverse set of skills—at no cost, as Lynda’s only requirement is an Ohio public library membership card—and become eligible for one of these many available positions. This is just one way the legislature is helping Ohioans all across the state get their feet in the door to better support themselves and their families.

Other efforts to support workforce development include emphasizing “In-Demand Jobs Week” during the first week of May, in order to bring attention to a wide variety of available positions, including those that do not require a college degree and instead might involve receiving a certification or completing an apprenticeship.

Ohio has become the Midwest’s number one state for job creation, with 557,600 jobs gained since 2011. As we move forward into 2019, I look forward to continuing in this impressive trend and working to further advance our economy, as well as improving job training and options for Ohioans across the state.