A presentation of job retention statistics was given during the Downtown Dayton Partnership Annual Meeting last week. The information was very interesting and highlights both the challenges and the opportunities that the community faces in job growth, office vacancy rates and perceptions of the economic health of downtown. As we have frequently commented, one of the biggest problems that downtown Dayton faces in the fissure between the reality and perceptions of downtown problems. The slides from the presentation statistically demonstrate the reality of the challenge to grow and retain jobs in the urban core and are highlighted here.
Key job retention figures for 2006:
- The total number of jobs gained in the Central Business District (CBD) was 1,056 while the total loss was 1,015.
- The total number of jobs gained in the greater downtown region was 1,173 while the total loss was 1,584.
- The net job loss in the CBD was 41 jobs while the net job loss in greater downtown was 411.
- The total number of employees in the greater downtown area is 25,086, with 18,570 of those jobs in the Central Business District.
- Although the total number of jobs in the greater downtown area has declined since 2001, there has not been a sharp decline (the chart does not give exact numbers, but seems to indicate about 1000 fewer jobs over the last 5 years.)
The anticipated job losses for 2007 include those related to the Dayton Daily News moving out of downtown, Newpage Corp. moving to Miami Township, MeadWestvaco moving to Kettering and Woolpert to Research Boulevard. The expected total losses related to those companies are 1,163. This sets the stage for a very tall challenge for downtown job growth in 2007.
Going hand in hand with job growth is office vacancy rates. Downtown vacancy rates have remained virtually unchanged since 2003 at 18%. Vacancy rates in the suburbs have declined since 2004 (18%) to a rate of 13% in 2006. Although we don