Ohio Among the Best States for New College Graduates

Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton Rank in Top 30 Nationally For Job Openings, Pay and Affordable Living, According to Bloomberg Businessweek

Aug 31, 2010, 11:38 ET from Ohio Business Development Coalition

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio is one of the best states for recent college graduates, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek/Aftercollege.com survey that ranked four of the state's largest cities – Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton – among the top 30 nationally for their optimum mix of job openings, salaries and affordable living. Ohio had more cities in the top 30 than any state except Texas.

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"Keeping graduates in Ohio requires a committed alliance between higher education and businesses," said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut. "Ohio's strong performance demonstrates our steady progress on connecting graduates to Ohio jobs."

Located within a day's drive of 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations, Ohio ranks fifth in the nation in the number of headquarters for Fortune 500 companies and is home to 61 of the Fortune 1000. Built upon a legacy of strength in manufacturing and innovative thinking, Ohio continues to be at the forefront of technological advances in such diverse fields as aerospace and aviation, advanced energy, bioscience, polymers and fuel cells. The state also boasts key advantages in transportation and logistics and professional and financial services.

Starting salaries stretch further in Ohio. According to Federal Housing Finance Agency statistics, Ohio ranks among the 10 most affordable states for single-family housing. On average, it costs nearly 35 percent less overall to live in Ohio than in California and 23 percent less than Massachusetts.

"With its central location, low cost of living and leadership in key industries, Ohio is an ideal place for young professionals – including the 180,000 high school seniors and 78,000 college students who graduate from Ohio schools each year – to start their careers," said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition. "Innovative investments such as Ohio Third Frontier attract young professionals, and the Bloomberg Businessweek data reaffirms why young professionals are selecting Ohio. It's the best place to have a personally fulfilling life and a professionally rewarding career, delivering on Ohio's promise as the State of Perfect Balance."

Ranked ninth on the Businessweek list, Columbus -- Ohio's state capital and the 16th largest city in the U.S. -- is the second-fastest growing major metropolitan area in the Midwest. Home to 1.75 million residents and 15 Fortune 1000 companies, central Ohio is a growing center for established and emerging companies in finance, insurance, information technology and biosciences. Major area employers include Nationwide, American Electric Power, Huntington Bank, the federal Defense Supply Center, Cardinal Health and The Ohio State University.

Ranked 17th, Cleveland has diverse job opportunities in manufacturing, science, engineering and biotechnology. Major employers headquartered in Cleveland include Eaton, Parker Hannifin, Sherwin-Williams and KeyCorp.

Retail, customer service, wholesale and retail trade and health-care opportunities abound in 20th-ranked Dayton. Large employers include Premier Health Partners and Kettering Health Network.

Cincinnati, ranked 23rd, offers jobs in key industries such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and insurance. Major employers include Fortune 500 companies such as AK Steel, Ashland Inc., Cinergy Corp., Federated Department Stores, Fifth Third Bancorp, The Kroger Co., Procter & Gamble Co. and Western & Southern Financial.

The ranking was based on the number of job postings on AfterCollege.com, city unemployment rates and the average annual pay for all occupations as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. Wages were adjusted for cost of living, using data from the Council for Community & Economic Research in Arlington, Va. Salaries rose 2.5 percent, to an average of $44,525, for the 30 cities in the 2010 ranking.

For more information, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.

SOURCE Ohio Business Development Coalition