Annual Payroll Up Slightly in 5-County Region

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — In its 2016 County Business Patterns report released April 19, the U.S. Census Bureau found that the collective annual payroll in the five-county region increased to nearly $9.07 billion across all industries.

That’s up slightly from $8.99 billion in 2015, despite the fact that all but one of the five counties saw a dip in total annual payrolls. Data gathered encompasses Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio as well as Mercer and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania.

The 2016 County Business Patterns report covers more than 7.7 million business establishments and provides employment and payroll data at subnational levels for nearly 1,200 industries, according to the Census Bureau.

Trumbull was the only county that recorded an increase in annual payroll at $2.63 billion, up from $2.50 billion in 2015. Manufacturing made up nearly half of the total annual payroll at $1.083 billion, which is up from nearly $960 million in 2015.

At $2.273 billion, manufacturing had the highest payroll across the five counties. That is followed by the health-care and social assistance industries with a five-county total of $1.996 billion, retail with $896 million, construction with $633 million and wholesale trade with $501.8 million.

Mahoning County led the top five industries in payroll except for manufacturing, where it saw a decrease of about $21 million from 2015. The county posted the highest gain in health care/social assistance with an increase of about $36 million.

Individually, counties saw top five payrolls in industries that weren’t among the regional top five. Trumbull and Columbiana counties recorded top five in transportation/warehousing at $124 million and $48 million, respectively.

In Mahoning County, the construction industry saw a high payroll of $287.5 million, with Trumbull County at $130.8 million and $96.1 million in Lawrence County. Mercer County led the region in the management of companies and enterprises with an annual payroll of $74.68 million.

Nationally, construction posted the most employment gains in 2016 with a 5% increase year-over-year. The County Business Patterns report defines employment as all full- and part-time employees who were on the payroll during the pay period that included March 12.

Overall, construction employment in the region increased to 6.3 million, up from 6.0 million in 2015. Annual construction payroll increased 6.5% to $371.3 billion from $348.6 billion.

Four of the five counties saw increased employment in construction, with Trumbull posting the highest gain at 319 employees for a total 2,444. Lawrence County added 157 employees (1,521), Mercer 76 (1,301) and Mahoning added 21 (4,564). Columbiana County posted a loss of 28 paid construction employees for 946.

The health-care and social assistance industry was the top regional employer with 54,528 paid employees as of March 12, 2016. This mirrors national data, with industry employment increasing 2.7% to 19.7 million working at 890,519 establishments in 2016.

At the county level, health care led employment in Mahoning County (22,138), Mercer County (9,865) and Lawrence County (6,499).

Manufacturing was the second-highest employer with 43,276 employees regionally and led employment in Trumbull (17,486) and Columbiana (6,043) counties.

Retail, the third-highest employer at 37,939, recorded the most establishments in the region. The retail trade sector comprises establishments engaged in selling merchandise and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

There are 2,606 retail establishments in the five-county area. Mahoning County has the most at 833, followed by Trumbull with 668, Mercer with 495, Columbiana with 324 and Lawrence with 286.

CLICK HERE to see chart published in May edition of The Business Journal.

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