The Challenge of the Legacy City
The Montrose Group
Recent attention focus’ on the challenges of Legacy City’s—communities who have not recovered from the loss of industrial jobs. While former industrial giants like Ohio continue to transform and grow, other than the Columbus and Cincinnati regions, most other regions in the state are not producing the jobs the population needs to succeed. As the table below illustrates, Columbus and Cincinnati produced the lion’s share of the state’s jobs from 1990-2018 while regions like Youngstown, Mansfield, Lima, and Springfield have actually lost a total of 35,500 jobs over this timeframe. Cleveland, once the economic powerhouse of the state, only produced 47,200 jobs over this timeframe which was not as many as Akron, and five times less than Columbus.
The common element these struggling communities have is a substantial loss of high-wage manufacturing jobs. The loss of the manufacturing base in many Ohio communities has had a negative impact on the economic and social well-being of these communities. As the table below illustrates, large scale high-wage manufacturing job loss and long-term struggles with overcoming poverty created substantial pools of poverty and, more troubling, wide-spread population decline among this select list of Ohio Legacy Cities.
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