Crain's Cleveland Business
Akron's doing just fine.
That's not the opinion of just anyone. It's the take of John Augustine, chief investment officer of Huntington Bank's private client group. Augustine was in town Wednesday, March 22, to speak to wealthy clients of the city's largest bank.
Akron has become very important to Huntington, thanks to its 2016 acquisition of FirstMerit Corp. and its $25 billion in assets. Augustine told clients, and then told Crain's, that Huntington is pleased to see that the Akron area is faring well and, in fact, is doing better than Northeast Ohio's other large cities — with a lower unemployment rate and prospects for more growth ahead.
"In Akron, our unemployment rate starts with a 4 (4.9%), which is where the national rate is. Cleveland, Youngstown and Canton all have rates that start with a 5, so arguably we've come back better," Augustine said after his presentation.
One reason for that, Augustine said, is the fact that the Greater Akron area has a strong and diverse mix of businesses for a city its size, including companies like Diebold Inc. and whole sectors, such as polymers and plastics, that require a lot of high-value employees in research and engineering to succeed.
"Our having higher tech industries is definitely helping us," Augustine said.
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