Business & Economy

Ohio Union Membership Grew Slightly In 2016

Jan 30, 2017
Labor Union Hall
Djembayz / Wikimedia Commons

More Ohio workers opted to join unions last year – bucking a national trend that showed membership falling.

According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership in Ohio rose to 12.4 percent last year: about 617,000 workers.

As the toll of the opioid epidemic grows, scores of doctors have lost their licenses and some have gone to prison. Pharmacies are being sued and shuttered. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are under investigation and face new rules from regulators.

But penalties against companies that serve as middlemen between drug companies and pharmacies have been relatively scarce — until recently.

WikiMedia

One of the newer additions to the Columbus skyline is being acquired by a San Francisco corporation for $1.1 billion. 

As the Trump administration is expected to overhaul America's immigration system, some policymakers suggest looking north to Canada.

That's because Canadians see immigration as critical to their economic success. The nation has invited in so many immigrants that today, one-fifth of the population is foreign-born.

Yet Canadians don't seem to wrestle with anti-immigrant nativism that has erupted in the U.S. and Europe.

Canadian Pacific/Flickr

Bob Evans, a Central Ohio mainstay known for its "down on the farm" offerings, announced this week  it's selling all of its restaurants to a California-based private equity firm. One analyst says he's not surprised.

The Dow Jones industrial average cruised past another milestone Wednesday — the 20,000 level, further evidence of the long bull market that has lifted share prices since the depths of the financial crisis.

The index closed at a record 20,068. Since the November elections, the Dow and the broader S&P 500 are up 9.5 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

Additive manufacturing — commonly called 3D printing — is a fast-growing technology in northeast Ohio.  And Tuesday it got bigger, literally. 

“Sixteen tons and what you get?”  A 22-foot long high-tech machine that creates sophisticated sand-casting molds for complex metal parts.   

For several years, Oxfam International has released an annual report on global wealth inequity. The numbers were startling: In the 2016 report, Oxfam said the world's richest 62 people owned as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion.

WOSU Archive

Gov. John Kasich has been warning for months now that tax revenues coming into the state are below expectations and that the upcoming two-year state budget will be tighter than in the past. His recent speeches have taken on a new theme.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations over its diesel emissions cheating scheme involving some 590,000 vehicles in the U.S.

The company has also agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts.

It's still unclear whether Verizon will follow through on a $4.8 billion deal to buy Yahoo's core internet business, but if the sale is finalized, there's a name for what will be left behind.

Even before Barack Obama moved into the White House, he and his team made a choice that made actually selling his policies to the public more difficult.

In December 2008, Obama's economic team gathered in Chicago to map out what would become the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"A dispute, discussion, something breaks out at that meeting. We haven't even come in yet," said Austan Goolsbee, a professor at the University of Chicago, who was a top economic adviser in the early years of the Obama presidency.

The Limited headquarters in New Albany, Ohio.
Google Maps

More grim news for malls as women's apparel designer and retailer The Limited says it will close all its brick-and-mortar stores at the end of this weekend.

The U.S. added 156,000 jobs last month and hourly wages rose by 10 cents, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate was little changed; it ticked up slightly to 4.7 percent, compared to November's 4.6 percent.

Economists had been watching closely to see if the jobs report reflected a rise in wages.

Nicholas Eckhart / Flick Creative Commons

Macy's says it is eliminating more than 10,000 jobs and plans to move forward with 68 store closures, including two in the Columbus area, after a disappointing holiday shopping season.

Flickr

What will Ohio’s economy look like in 2017?  Governor Kasich warned last month that the state could go into recession in the new year.

Ohio’s minimum wage is set to increase on January 1st

Gabe Rosenberg

Sitting in one of the half-dozen chairs at Holy Moses in Grandview Heights, R.J. Trimber is getting a trim.

"My hair eight months ago looked nothing like this," he says, as barber Garrett Woerndle makes his way around Trimber with an electric razor.

The story of a new law starts with some online Christmas shopping gone wrong.

In the winter of 2008, John Palmer of Layton, Utah, decided to buy his wife, Jen, a couple of holiday tchotchkes. Things like desk toys and keychains.

The order, from the online retailer KlearGear, never arrived.

After a testy back and forth with the company's customer service, Jen Palmer did what many thousands of consumers do every month: She posted about her negative experience on an online business review site.

"I posted the review and then we forgot about it," she says.

The path of the Ohio River snakes southwest out of Pittsburgh and forms the border between Ohio and West Virginia. Here, the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains rise along its banks, and beneath that Appalachian soil lie the natural resources that have sustained the valley's economy: coal — and now, natural gas.

To people far away, who consume goods made with energy fueled by the Ohio Valley, coal and gas may be harmful agents of global warming.

But to people in Ohio coal country, a good life on the ground is paid for by what's underneath it.

The Limited headquarters in New Albany, Ohio.
Google Maps

The Limited retail chain began laying off some of its 248 employees at New Albany headquarters on December 2. Company officials have not announced what will happen to its 250 retail stores.

Unemployment dropped by 0.3 percentage points, to 4.6 percent, last month — the lowest rate since 2007 — according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On Donald Trump's visit to Carrier in Indiana on Thursday, he mentioned a phone call that he made to the CEO of United Technologies, the air conditioning company's parent. As Trump describes it, that call led to Carrier announcing it will not move as many jobs to Mexico as it had planned.

"We can't allow this to happen anymore with our country. So many jobs are leaving and going to other countries, not just Mexico," Trump said.

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump tried to tamp down growing concerns that he will not separate his vast global business interests from his role as head of the U.S. government.

Trump is promising to hold a "major news conference" in two weeks to talk about how he's turning his empire over to his children.

WOSU

Agencies that acquire real estate on behalf of the city of Columbus and surrounding Franklin County plan to spend nearly $21 million to demolish more than 1,100 blighted homes before 2020.

The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants and UC's Economic Center are out with the latest state-wide holiday retail spending report and it's not as rosy as last year. Data suggests a 1.54 percent increase in spending in November and December.

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