Ohio Chamber of Commerce’s new dashboard tracks economic opportunity data

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation has launched an online “data visualization tool” that

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation has launched an online “data visualization tool” that tracks statewide vital economic indicators, including metrics related to labor force participation, new business starts and population growth.

The Ohio Economic Dashboard was created to help policymakers, business leaders and the public understand the state’s economic health by providing a snapshot of current market conditions along with historical trends, according to an announcement on Tuesday, July 6.

“We identified key indicators that may help policymakers and business leaders in Ohio gain a better understanding of how Ohio’s economy is performing. Through the Ohio Economic Dashboard, we set out to create a tool that would gather critical data from a range of sources that can be viewed and analyzed in one convenient location,” said Brian K. Hicks, president of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation board of directors, in a statement.

The Dashboard links to the Prosperity Pulse Index, a survey conducted by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce that measures the economic health of Ohio companies based on the future outlook of five key indicators: profits, employment levels, unfilled openings, capital expenditures and overall economic optimism. The Pulse Index findings date back to 2017; the first-quarter 2021 score was 112, a big jump from the fourth-quarter 2020 score of 93.8. The index still lags pre-pandemic numbers. The index hit a high of 139.9 in 2018 and in 2019 was at 121.8.

According to the 2021 Pulse Index survey of business leaders across the state, the majority see “more light at the end of the pandemic tunnel and remain optimistic that conditions will continue to improve,” according to the report published in May.

“Over 90% of Ohio business leaders who participated in our survey plan to add jobs to their companies in the coming weeks and months as the economy churns its way back toward normal operations,” the report read.

The foundation also released, “Opportunities for Ohio in a Post-COVID Economy,” a report summarizing a June panel discussion involving Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency; Charlie Rowell, director for North American Business Development of JobsOhio; and Dr. Dave Shideler, chief research officer at Heartland Forward and co-author of “Reshoring America: Can the Heartland Lead the Way?”

The report stresses the advantages Ohio needs to capitalize on so it can cement “its place as a leader in the 21st century economy.” The key points incorporated the need to assist companies looking to reshore manufacturing; accelerating investment in broadband; continuing support of public-private partnerships spurring research and development; and the attraction, retention and training of talent.

The report can be found online here. A recording of the panel discussion is here.