Midwest City Ranked Hotspot for Construction Jobs

The report looked both at an area’s construction jobs, which is defined as work found in areas requiring infrastructure or undergoing rapid development, and extraction jobs.

📅   Tue July 18, 2017 - National Edition
VICTORIO CABRERA


Cheap rent can't sustain a local economy if there are no jobs, and well-paying jobs mean less if rents are sky-high. Toledo has struck a balance.
Cheap rent can't sustain a local economy if there are no jobs, and well-paying jobs mean less if rents are sky-high. Toledo has struck a balance.

Toledo's a hot place to be for construction jobs, a new report said.

Analysis by ABODO, an online apartment-rental marketplace, highlighted Toledo's confluence of abundant, well-paying jobs and affordable rents.

Cheap rent can't sustain a local economy if there are no jobs, and well-paying jobs mean less if rents are sky-high. Toledo has struck a balance.

“A lot of the Midwestern cities we saw did have a fairly high amount of jobs,” Sam Radbil, a spokesman for ABODO, said. “What separates Toledo from a lot of these cities is the median salary of $51,060 for construction.”

Toledo came in fourth among cities which the firm analyzed. It was bested only by Fort Wayne, Ind., the Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia area of Michigan, and Baton Rouge. The Cleveland area was the only other Ohio city to make the top 10, coming in at No. 7.

The report looked both at an area's construction jobs, which is defined as work found in areas requiring infrastructure or undergoing rapid development, and extraction jobs, that is, jobs geographically limited to areas that have materials, such as oil, to be extracted.

Baton Rouge, which came in first, had higher rents and a lower median wage, but its job density, or construction and extraction jobs per one thousand jobs, was almost three times higher than Toledo's.

Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia had higher wages and lower rents, which offset its lower job density.

Fort Wayne's job density was comparable, and though its median wage was lower, rents were cheap enough to make up the difference, meaning a worker would likely have more money left over.

What set all four of these cities and metro areas apart was the balance between jobs, wages, and rents. The Houston area, for example, had a the second-highest job density, but didn't even break the top 25 on the ranking because of its prohibitively high rents and relatively low wages.

Matthew Heyrman, executive vice president at Associated General Contractors of Northwest Ohio, attributes Toledo's favorable conditions to a national boom-time for construction.

“Both here and throughout the country, we've had pent up demand for construction for years that was held back by the recession,” he said. “Combined with Baby Boomers retiring, I think we'll have sustained growth in employment.”

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services projected construction jobs in Northwest Ohio would increase by 27.6 percent through 2022, the highest rate projected in the region.

Mr. Heyrman noted an attractive feature of the sector: Median wages start at $20.71 an hour for apprentices and reach $29.94 for journeymen, who usually have three to four years' experience. Both of those jobs include benefits.

“When you combine that wage with a low cost of living in northwest Ohio, it creates a pretty remarkable environment,” he said.

Source: The Blade