Half of Employment Growth to Happen in Hamilton County
Employment patterns affect the number, length and distribution of trips. Although commuting trips (i.e. home to work or work to home) comprise only 15 percent of the region’s total passenger trips, they create the greatest demand on the transportation system because of their morning and afternoon peak time periods. Additionally, about 29 percent of all trips involve work as a destination (i.e., work to lunch or work to grocery shopping).
Currently, about one-half of the region’s population is employed. Employment as a percent of population in the OKI region is expected to drop a few points by 2050, as its population ages and a larger percentage is beyond prime working years.
For years, the region’s employment grew more rapidly than its population. The Baby Boomer generation reached working age, raising the proportion of the population absorbed into the labor force. Another factor was the greater proportion of women entering the labor force. During the planning period, the region’s employment growth will decelerate, reflecting a slowing in its population growth. There will also be a decline in women’s labor force participation, and retirement of the Baby Boomers. In 2050, the region’s employment level is projected to be about 10 percent above its 2015 level, which represents an addition of about 100,000 jobs.
The slowing growth of the labor force and employment causes some uncertainty about the future. Unlike what happens in an economic downturn and restructuring, the loss of workers in this case does not in itself represent a loss of jobs. On both regional and national levels, an aging workforce is expected to cause a shortage of workers.
This shortage may be offset by an increase in migration as a response to employment opportunities, by an influx of workers drawn out of retirement, or by other members of society not currently employed. In contrast, there may not be a worker shortage, if automation achieves new increases in productivity.
Employment by County of Work
For many decades, jobs and people were moving from the urban core to the suburban area of the region. That trend has begun to reverse itself and it is expected to continue well into the future. Over half of all employment growth between 2015 and 2050 is expected to occur in Hamilton County, primarily in the City of Cincinnati and along the I-75 and I-71 corridors. This resurgence of the urban core is also expected to increase the regional share of employment in Campbell County. It will also help Kenton County maintain its regional share of employment. Due to weakness in the manufacturing and retail sectors, Boone, Butler, and Warren counties will see their share of regional employment shrink slightly. All three will still see positive employment growth due to strength in other sectors.