Ohio was one of the top five outbound states for movers in 2015, according to United Van Lines’ 39th annual National Movers Study, which depicts a continuing trend of Midwestern residents moving to Southern and Western states in 2015.
Two major reasons for leaving the Midwest — specifically Ohio — are a sluggish economy and an older population seeking to retire in warmer climates, according to the survey. While Ohio’s unemployment rate has decreased more than 50 percent since 2010, the Ohio growth and payroll employment rate — which measures the quantity of wage and salary workers — has only increased 1.4 percent from 2014-2015, much lower than the national average, which has increased 2.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Bill LaFayette, owner of economic research and strategy firm Regionomics in Columbus, said that overall Ohio’s job market continues to flag, and only central Ohio (Columbus in particular) has seen substantial job growth. This is primarily because Columbus has benefited from significant population growth over the past six years, which jumpstarted the job market in the state’s capitol.
"People may be thinking their prospects are better elsewhere, and this could go on for years, this is absolutely nothing new," LaFayette said. "Between 2010 and 2014 the Columbus MSA increased in population by about 90,000, and the state as a whole increased by about 57,000. Columbus has been doing very, very well. If you look over the course of the entire economic recovery, Ohio job growth is substantially greater in the Columbus area. What you have is a lot of migration from other parts of Ohio to the Columbus area."
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