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Retirees open up Ohio job market

By Michelle Rowley
On April 27, 2012

Ohio is anticipating approximately 1.7 million job openings by 2018. However, the open jobs are not new jobs, but rather jobs that open due to people retiring and moving around within their field. Of the 1.7 million openings, only 249,000 will be completely new jobs.

Of Ohio's adult population, ages 25 and above, only 32 percent hold an associates degree or higher. This puts Ohio behind schedule to meet the nation's projected goal of 44 percent of adult-aged individuals holding a degree by 2025.

This may seem like a problem for Ohio's job market due to the number of projected job openings by 2018, however Lewis Corner, chief of Workforce Research for the Ohio Bureau of Labor Market Information, said this number is misleading.

Although Corner did not have exact numbers, he said these jobs would be mostly technical personnel positions such as radiologists, nurses, physical therapists and technicians. However, Corner said this is nothing new. Rather, these fields are always expanding regardless of the state of the economy because they provide a service that is always in demand. "Green" jobs such as environmental scientists are also projected to be in higher demand.

Other jobs that will be increasingly in demand from now through 2018 include computer and mathematical jobs. Corner said statisticians would be in higher demand and generally only take an associate's degree rather than a bachelor's degree.

Although these jobs are available now, Corner said there are no statistics on them yet since they are not well established.

"A lot of these jobs are at entry level," Corner said. "Practitioners often only need professional degrees but certainly some need masters. There are plenty for associate's and bachelor's degrees though."

Although there are plenty of jobs for those with bachelor's degrees, it is still hard for college grads to compete, according to Corner. New college grads will be competing against graduates from previous years who have yet to find jobs, and more experienced degree holders who have been laid off. The current unemployment rate in Ohio is only slightly below the national average of 8.2 percent at 7.5 percent.

Miami University senior Dan Hodges said he has experienced problems finding a job.

"Part of the reason why is because I'm not looking hard enough," Hodges said. "I have a job for the summer but what I want to be doing just doesn't have enough openings."

Hodges, who is looking for a position in field biology, said the jobs in his desired field are hard to get and not many are offered.

"If 50 people apply for only two positions, and one of them is a veteran in the field, the chances of me getting the job are pretty bad," Hodges said.

Corner said although there may be 1.7 million openings, they do not apply across the board. Only certain fields of work are seeing an increased number of openings.

"As a college student, get as much experience in as many different trades as possible to be able to compete in the workforce when you graduate," Corner said. "You need to be flexible."


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