Employment in Dayton area has disappointing streak

After 62 consecutive months of job growth in the Dayton metropolitan area, year-over-year employment has declined for the fourth-straight month.

In January, nonfarm employment in the metro area of Montgomery, Greene and Miami counties was 389,600, or down 600 jobs from January 2018, according to preliminary and seasonally adjusted U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday.

Fluctuations in professional and business services and governments jobs have caused a majority of the declines in the past year.

In January, the region lost jobs in professional and business services (-1,300 jobs) government (-1,100 jobs), retail trade (-700 jobs), information (-400 jobs) and financial activities (-400 jobs), the data show.

Hiring by area manufacturers has helped the region’s overall employment.

Employment was up in manufacturing (+1,000 jobs), construction, mining and logging (+800 jobs), trade transportation and utilities (+300 jobs), education and health services (+100 jobs) in January

Diane Shannon, Dayton’s director of procurement, management and budget, said the Dayton region has not followed recent Ohio employment trends, but added building permit data and the city’s income tax collections show there has been robust economic activity in Dayton.

Year over year, Dayton lost 200 jobs in December, 400 in November and 600 in October. Month to month employment numbers tend to fluctuate.

MORE: 2018 was super hot year for new commercial projects in Dayton

Shannon earlier this year said she was concerned about job losses in professional and business services because there had been strong growth in the sector. She also pointed out that the yield curve has inverted slightly, which some economists believe is a sign that a recession is coming.

But she also said that 2018 was a very strong year for Dayton’s income tax collections, which is reflection of more jobs and higher wages and business profits.

Shannon cautioned that the January data is preliminary and subject to revision.

“The numbers will be updated,” she said.

Transportation, warehousing and utilities jobs have increased every month since September, which is a good sign since local development officials have marketed the Dayton region as a logistics hub.

Since January 2014, Ohio’s payrolls have grown 5.8 percent, while employment in Dayton has increased 5.5 percent.

MORE: 600 new Dayton jobs? Chewy says it might create twice as many.

There have been some major job announcements recently that officials hope will pay off soon.

Chewy, an online pet retailer, originally said it was going to bring about 600 jobs to a new facility at the Dayton International Airport.

Company officials recently told this newspaper that the actual number of new jobs could be double that within a few years.

“This is a phenomenal project that is a result of a very competitive, multi-state process to land this tremendous fulfillment center at Dayton, the cross roads of America,” said Ford Weber, Dayton’s director of economic development.

Footwear company Crocs plans to relocate a distribution center to the Dayton airport, which is expected to have more than 130 full-time employees.

Local businesses also have signaled they plan to boost hiring this year.

A survey of Dayton-area employers released Tuesday found 28 percent planned to add employees in the second quarter of this year.

In a previous survey by the staffing company Manpower Group, about 24 percent of employers surveyed indicated they would hire in the first quarter of this year.

MORE: 32 businesses said ‘yes’ to downtown Dayton in 2018. Here’s the list.