October 16, 2012
2012 Regional Indicators Report measures economic progress
Leaders of the region’s two action plans, Agenda 360 and Vision 2015, recently released the Regional Indicators Report 2012: Measuring Our Economic Progress.
The report hones in on key indicators that provide insights about our regional economy that will lead to positive community action. It is a comprehensive economic scorecard that compares data for Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to that of 11 other regions.
The region’s overall rank against our peers — 10th out of 12 regions — remains the same as it was in the first Regional Indicators Report in 2010.
But while the region’s rank remains the same, there is a great deal of momentum in the Greater Cincinnati–Northern Kentucky region. Upticks on a number of indicators have leaders confident that these reasons for optimism will translate into an improved rank.
“Continuing collaboration is required, as is a long view, as key indicators of economic health cannot be changed overnight,” said Mary Stagaman, executive director of Agenda 360 and vice president at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “But they can be changed for the better, and the rate of improvement we’re seeing on some indicators suggests that our potential for growth is stronger than ever.”
Reasons for optimism cited in the report include:
- Regional job growth, including 27,400 jobs created from August 2011 to August 2012, which places the region sixth in the nation among regions with a labor force exceeding one million.
- Declining unemployment rate—currently at 6.7 percent.
- A focus on innovation, with the growth of start-up accelerators like The Brandery, UpTech and Cintrifuse.
- The Cincinnati USA Regional Partnership working with Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and other partners on a cluster-focused economic development strategy that is contributing to job growth.
- A bi-state coalition of business and civic leaders working to build the new Brent Spence Bridge.
- The United Way’s Bold Goals for education, income and health, especially its goal to bring 90 percent of the labor force to gainful employment.
The indicators selected are reliable, diverse and have comparable regional benchmarks that are regularly updated. Seven of the 15 are grouped as “People” Indicators and illustrate that the community has work to do in creating a more equitable community and a higher quality of life for all. The remaining indicators, termed “Jobs” Indicators, relate to the composition of our workforce.
The region’s rank improved or stayed the same in nine of the 15 indicators. Improvements were in educational attainment, housing opportunity, knowledge jobs, average annual wage, per capita income and unemployment.
The report is an update of the 2010 Regional Indicators Report, which has served as a catalyst for action on multiple fronts, but most notably in innovation and increased entrepreneurship.
“The Regional Indicators Report continues to serve as a call to action. Together, we are optimistic about our region’s prospects for the future and we are inspired by a renewed sense of pride in our entire region,” said Bill Scheyer, president of Vision 2015.
Regional Indicators Report 2012: Measuring Our Economic Progress is available for download at agenda360.org and vision2015.org. Rankings will be updated and available at regional-indicators.org as new data becomes available.