Toledo: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Manufacturing comprises about one-fifth of Toledo's economic base. Nearly 1,000 manufacturing facilities are located in the metropolitan area. Such manufacturing facilities include automotive assembly and parts production, glass, plastic, and metal parts. Toledo is home to the headquarters of such corporations as The Andersons, Dana Corporation, Libbey, Inc., Libbey-Owens-Ford Company, Owens Corning, Owens-Illinois, and Seaway Food Town. Major employers include DaimlerChrysler, General Motors/Powertrain, ProMedica Health Systems, and Toledo Public Schools. With 10 major financial institutions, Toledo is also a banking and finance center for northwestern Ohio.

Medical and technologically-oriented businesses are a major force in the local economy; Lucas County ranks among the 50 counties in the United States that account for 50 percent of medical industry production. Several private testing laboratories and manufacturers of medical instruments and allied products are located in the Toledo area. In addition, more than 400 plastics, metalworking, and electronics companies adapt engineering and production capabilities to the medical device and instrument industries. With its many nearby universities and large public school system, education is also an economic pillar. The Medical College of Ohio is the eighth largest employer in Toledo, and contributes nearly $500 million to the economy per year.

Items and goods produced: automotive and truck components, health care products, glass products, fiberglass, packaged foods, plastic and paper products, building materials, furniture, metal products

Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies

The Regional Growth Partnership, Inc. (RGP) is the principal agency for facilitating business expansion and location in the Toledo metropolitan area. Created as a non-profit public/private partnership, the RGP is charged with the mission of creating employment and capital investment needed to generate economic growth in greater Toledo and northwest Ohio. The RGP works closely with all public and private economic development organizations. The RGP provides customized services to fit the individual needs of each business client. Services include customized location proposals and sales presentations, comprehensive site and facility searches, project financial and incentive packaging, labor market information, other market and community data, regional evaluation tours, and leadership networking. A number of tax incentives, technology, and training assistance programs are available at the state and local level.

Economic Development Information: Regional Growth Partnership, 300 Madison Avenue, Suite 270, Toledo, OH 43604; telephone (419)252-2700; fax (419)252-2724

Development Projects

The economy continues to thrive in Toledo. Production of Jeep Liberty began in April of 2001 at the new Jeep assembly plant. Major university projects include the Toledo Science and Technology Center, a program to stimulate economic development by creating jobs and assisting local businesses. Downtown Toledo, Inc. is an ongoing public-private partnership made up of local business leaders, property owners, and citizens. It was created to enhance the quality of life and economy of the downtown Toledo area.

Significant investment has been made at the University of Toledo and Owens Community College. The Medical College of Ohio Cancer Center Institute opened in January of 2000.

Commercial Shipping

Toledo is situated at the center of a major market area; located within 500 miles of the city are 43 percent and 47 percent, respectively, of U.S. and Canadian industrial markets. A commercial transportation network, consisting of a Great Lakes port, railroads, interstate highways, and two international airports, provides access to this market area as well as points throughout the nation and the world.

Toledo is served by both Toledo Express in Toledo and Detroit Metropolitan Airport in nearby Detroit, Michigan. Toledo Express, served by seven airlines, carries passengers and is a major air freight center. Named one of the five best small airports in the Midwest, Toledo Express is the international hub for Burlington Air Express. It has recently begun a 4-year, $22 million renovation project. Detroit Metropolitan Airport is within a 50-minute drive.

The Port of Toledo, on the Maumee River, is a 150-acre domestic and international shipping facility that includes a general cargo center, mobile cargo handling gear, and covered storage space. In 2004 the port handled 122,514 tons of cargo. Designated as a Foreign Trade Zone, the complex affords shippers deferred duty payments and tax savings on foreign goods.

Toledo is served by four railroad systems, which provide direct and interline shipping; Norfolk/Southern maintains piggyback terminal facilities in the city. More than 90 truck firms link Toledo with all major metropolitan areas in the United States and points throughout Canada.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Farming, industrial production, and agriculture contribute to the area's growing economy. Manufacturing accounts for about 18 percent of the jobs in metropolitan Toledo. The Toledo area has a strong automotive industry base and is one of the top three machine tooling centers in the United States. The area has experienced strong growth in the steel, metals, and plastic industries. Retail and service businesses continue to expand.

Businesses in Toledo have access to graduates from at least 20 higher educational institutions within a one-hour drive of the city.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Toledo metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages:

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 329,600

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 15,800

manufacturing: 51,300

trade, transportation and utilities: 64,800

information: 4,700

financial activities: 13,200

professional and business services: 34,600

educational and health services: 46,700

leisure and hospitality: 32,900

other services: 15,400

government: 50,200

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $21.87

Unemployment rate: 7.4% (March 2005)

Toledo: Economy

Largest manufacturing/utility employers Number of employees
DaimlerChrysler Corp./Toledo 5,583
GM Corp./Powertrain Div. Corp. 3,860
Libbey, Inc. 1,329
Dana Corporation. 1,225
Owens-Illinois, Inc. 1,200

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Toledo area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $212,283

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 95.4 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: 2.25%

State sales tax rate: 6.0% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)

Local income tax rate: 2.25%

Local sales tax rate: 1.25% (county)

Property tax rate: 60.65 mills (2002)

Economic Information: Regional Growth Partnership, 300 Madison Avenue, Suite 270, Toledo, OH 43604; telephone (419)252-2700