Ohio sheds nearly 6K jobs in April

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 9:43 AM
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 10:05 AM

            Construction continued late last year on Dayton Children’s Hospital’s new eight-story, 260,000 square-foot patient tower, which is scheduled to be completed in June. Ohio construction firms shed 7,400 jobs last month, according to the most recent figures from the state jobs department. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Ohio’s unemployment rate edged down to 5 percent in April from 5.1 percent in March even as employers statewide eliminated 5,700 jobs over the same period, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services announced Friday.

RELATED: Many Ohioans still struggling despite low unemployment

The biggest job losses were in construction and manufacturing, which last month shed 7,400 and 5,800 jobs, respectively, according to the jobs report. The losses offset gains in professional and business services (+6,100), and leisure and hospitality (+5,000).

Jon Keeling, a spokesman for the state jobs department, attributed the loss of construction jobs to seasonal adjustments “since it seems most construction workers were hired earlier this year.” Since December 2016, construction jobs are up by 8,200, Keeling noted.

The decrease in the manufacturing sector was largely the result of temporary layoffs by Chrysler as they shift production of the Jeep Cherokee out of Toledo to make room for the next generation Jeep Wrangler, Keeling said. Chrysler has indicated all of those jobs will return.

RELATED: Jobless rates jump in every Ohio county

Overall, 288,000 Ohioans were unemployed in April, down 5,000 from 293,000 in March, according to the report, which showed the number of unemployed has increased by 5,000 in the past 12 months from 283,000.

At the same time, Ohio’s labor force — or the number of people working or actively seeking jobs — grew by 21,000, pushing the state’s labor force participation rate to 63.1 percent — slightly above the national rate of 62.9 percent in April.

“Workers enter the labor force when they have confidence in the economy, and Ohio’s labor force has been surging over the past year,” Keeling said, noting Ohio’s labor force has grown by 76,000 over the past 12 months.

The U.S. labor force grew by 12,000 last month as the national unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent, down from 4.5 percent in March.

Airstream strikes deal with electric bike maker

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

An Airstream manufacturing executive opens a finished Airstream RV waiting to be shipped in Jackson Center in this 2014 photo. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Regional manufacturer Airstream Inc. is teaming up with an electric bike company in California to further its outdoor lifestyle credentials.

Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is partnering with Orange County, Calif.-based Pedego Electric Bikes to produce the Pedego Airstream Electric Bike. The bike is $2,995 and is available in brushed aluminum to match what the companies call in an announcement “Airstream’s classic style.”

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The bikes are available at Airstream dealerships and Pedego stores.

Powered by Pedego’s motors and batteries, the bikes feature brushed aluminum frames, 26-inch frames, wide handlebars and five levels of automatic pedal assist mode, along with 48-volt lithium batteries providing an average of 25 to 60 miles distance per charge, according to the company.

The bike will be shown at Airstream’s annual five-day event, Alumapalooza, held at the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, May 30 through June 4 .

“Airstream customers love the outdoors and the open road, so we are thrilled to partner with Pedego and allow Airstreamers to take their journeys even further with these one-of-a-kind aluminum electric bikes,” Airstream President and Chief Executive Bob Wheeler said in a release from the companies.

Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries makes Airstream trailers in Shelby County’s Jackson Center.

Airstream, with about 750 employees today, was founded in the U.S. by Wally Byam in the 1920s.

Dayton-based Midmark to build new tech center

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

Anne Eiting Klamar, owner of Midmark Corp. The dental and medical equipment provider is headquartered on the University of Dayton’s River Campus. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Midmark Corp., a maker of medical, dental and veterinary equipment, plans to build a technology center in Darke County, the company said Tuesday.

The new center will boost product development, and the company plans to break ground late in the year or early in 2018.

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The company did not immediately say how large the planned center will be or what the value of the construction project and new building are thought to be.

“We are pleased to be growing the organization and enthusiastic for the future of Midmark,” John Baumann, Midmark president and chief executive, said in the company’s release.

RELATEDExperts: Dayton area becoming ‘hub’ for medical device making

Since its 1969 founding, the company has grown to occupy about 615,000 square feet across its facilities in Versailles, the company said.

Midmark said it has worked with JobsOhio, Dayton Development Coalition, Darke County Economic Development and the village of Versailles on the project. The company said it will offer more information later.

Based on the University of Dayton’s River campus, Midmark has about 1,700 employees in the United States and international subsidiaries in India, Italy and the United Kingdom.

KeyBank to close some branches today for volunteering effort

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 11:27 AM

            JIM WITMER/STAFF

Some KeyBank branches in Dayton will be closed at noon today as bank employees participate in the 27th annual Neighbors Make the Difference Day.

Thousands of U.S. KeyBank employees will take part in doing community projects today to help make a difference.

Employees from Dayton will do community projects at a variety of community organizations such as Artemis, Clothes that Work, DayBreak, Goodwill Easter Seals, Homefull, Oak Tree Corner, the Family Resource Center, The Foodbank, Trinity Retirement Community, Vandalia Food Pantry, and United Rehabilitation Services and We Care Hearts.

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“On Neighbors Make the Difference Day, we come together to thank our neighbors for the good work they do every day. We partner closely with nonprofits to transform our communities, and our employees add to the momentum through volunteerism and personal philanthropy, in countless meaningful ways. Neighbors Day is a powerful demonstration of our employees’ commitment and caring,” said KeyBank Foundation CEO Margot Copeland.

April home sales set record in Dayton area

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

            A line of homes for sale along Pointe Oakwood Way. The Dayton Area Board of Realtors said Dayton-area home sales set a record for April. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

April home sales in the Dayton area were the strongest on record, according to the latest figures from the Dayton Area Board of Realtors (DABR), which Wednesday reported an increase in sales, prices and volume last month, compared to the same month a year ago.

Sales were up 1.31 percent from April last year to a total of 1,316, while the average price rose 7 percent to $157,161 over the same period, and the median sales price rose 2.36 percent to $130,000, the DABR reported. Meanwhile, sales volume totaled $206.8 million, up 8 percent from April last year.

RELATED: Local housing markets among “healthiest” in Ohio

Through the first four months of the year, sales were up nearly 5 percent to 4,364, compared to the same period last year, and cumulative sales volume for the first four months of the year hit $647.2 million — a whopping 14 percent increase from 2016.

The average sales price, year-to date, was $148,309, up 8 percent from 2016’s year-to-date numbers. The median price also rose 8 percent to $127,600 for the first four months of this year, compared to the same period last year.

RELATED: More homes sold in Dayton area in 2016 than in past five years

A lack of available properties for sales has led to bidding wars for certain choice properties, according to area Realtors, and kept prices up.

There were 1,970 new listings added in April, down 7 percent from last year, according to the DABR, which said year-to-date listings were down 6 percent to 6,769.