Economists say slow population growth in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area has led to fewer jobs in region

11/14/2017 02:19 PM

ERLANGER – The regional economic development outlook for the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area continues to be good, despite that fact that the population growth hasn’t kept pace with the national average in strong economic areas of the country.

Janet Harrah, Senior Director with the Center for Economic Analysis and Development at Northern Kentucky University told members of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce at their monthly Eggs N Issues breakfast on Tuesday that many jobs are created essentially to serve the local population and if that growth isn’t there, the number of jobs isn’t either.

“Cincinnati’s population growth has been at half the rate of the U.S. for 20 years,” Harrah said. “Two thirds of all funding is tied to local services, servicing the local population. So, are slow economic growth when you look long term, can be attributed in large part to stalled population growth.”

Both Harrah, and John Augustine, Chief Investment Officer with Huntington Bank says that one issue which is critical to economic development in the region continues to be developing a workforce that can perform today’s jobs.

“As the population ages, we have fewer and fewer entrants for every person that retires, so workforce is going to be an ongoing problem,” Harrah said.

“Training millennials, we need to convince them that blue collar work is OK,” Augustine said. “You’ve got welders making a hundred grand a year in this country now because there’s so few of them.”

Both say other factors which could stall the economy and job market are unknown factors such as wars, terrorist activities and a downturn in the stock market.

The unemployment rate for the region continues to be under the national average at 3.8 percent.


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