B.J. Bethel

A view of the world from Ohio

Ohio Under Siege: NAFTA and trade vs. Workers

Steve Bennish was a reporter at the Dayton Daily News through 2016 and a former reporter at the Cincinnati Enquirer. He has his Master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri. Bennish specialized in political economy and reported extensively on the manufacturing, societal and economic decline in Dayton, Ohio. The statistics and information posted here are from the reporting of Bennish and various other reporters at the Dayton Daily News from the paper’s “Ohio Under Siege” series.

  • From 2000 to 2010, Montgomery County had the sharpest payroll decline in the state, dropping from $11.4 billion at the beginning of the decade to an adjusted $8.3 billion by 2010. That’s a decrease of 37 in county payroll in 10 years.
  • As a state, Ohio’s private job payrolls dropped $22 billion from 2000 to 2010.
  • Private sector employers in Dayton dropped from 10,105 in Montgomery County Ohio in 2000 to 8,851 in 2010, a slide of 14.2 percent in 10 years.
  • The largest drop was seen in the manufacturing sector, which dropped 36 percent locally in that time period.
  • Local manufacturing businesses dropped 21 percent from 2001 to 2011, from 1,010 to 810.
  • Annual statewide payroll declines were around 10 percent during this period, much of it due to the decline in private payrolls in Dayton.
Most of the counties in the Miami Valley had deep payroll drops during the decade: Clark, $482 million; Miami, $328 million; Darke, $89 million; Champaign, $75 million; and Preble, $40 million. Butler, Warren and Greene counties all gained, but not nearly enough to overcome the losses. Butler added $350 million, Warren $582 million and Greene, which hosts a growing Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, $322 million, according to the data from the state. All but 17 of 88 counties in Ohio sho wed inflation-adjusted private payroll drops during the decade.

Ohio experienced a structural shift in the economy from 2000 to 2010:

The size of the losses are so vast that economists say this period represents a structural change in the economy, making the Great Recession the most serious economic episode since World War II.
Ohio gained $3 billion in exports from 2006 to 2011, but lost seven times that amount in annual payroll.
Residual affects from losses of major manufacturing companies.
  • The closing of Moraine’s GM truck plant totaled a loss in jobs of 5,430, 4,000 of which were directly from the GM plant, the other 1,430 were losses from two local part suppliers. This doesn’t count other suppliers and other residual companies in the service sector – this is from one plant.

Competition from foreign markets, currency manipulation and unfair trade

  • According to Ohio Senator Rob Portman, China alone dropped $2.8 billion in drilling pipe in Ohio and priced out local companies.
  • Fallout from trade dumping has been tainted honey and less quality products in the market, on top of the cost to local manufacturers of the same products.
  • Shifts in production from General Motors to China, India and Mexico resulted in the loss of 5,473 Delphi jobs from 2002 to 2011.
  • Competition from foreign markets after NAFTA, CAFTA and China resulted in a loss of $22 billion in payroll from Ohio from the loss of manufacturing jobs.
  • “Halving the $600 billion trade deficit would create five million new jobs in U.S. manufacturing.” – Peter Morici, economist with United States International Trade Commission, 2011.

U.S companies and offshoring in tangible numbers.

  • American companies stored $2 trillion in profits off shore in 2011.
  • So many companies left Ohio from 2000 to 2010, electrical use in the state dropped 28 percent from 74 million megawatt hours to 53 million megawatt hours from factories that were offshored and the companies that lost business due to them leaving.
  • Between 2009 and 2010, electrical use in the state plummeted to 1983 levels.
  • Ohio lost over 315,000 manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2010.
  • From 1990 to 2010, local power provider Dayton Power and Light saw a drop of 9.5 percent.

Decline in jobs in Ohio part of structural issues in greater economy, not cyclical as case during normal recessions and in recessions affecting other sectors like banking, finance.

  • Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reported in 2011 that estimates of U.S. manufacturing production were overinflated by 122 percent.
  • According to economist Alan Tonelson, imports to the U.S. controlled 38 percent or $1.63 trillion of the U.S. economy.

Reporting by Steve Bennish, Alan Tonnelson, Ken McCall, Thomas Gnau, Tim Tresslar,


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