Farming was the basis for Ohio’s two early industries, the processing of foodstuffs and the manufacture of farm equipment. Because transportation to Ohio was expensive, it was cheaper to make items in the state than to import them from outside. In addition, Ohio was in the path of the migrants traveling to the fertile lands of Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. To supply the pioneers with farm tools, wagons, harness, food, and clothing, industries developed in many communities, especially in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Dayton, Springfield, and Mansfield. The American Civil War (1861-1865) accelerated manufacturing, especially the iron and steel industries, which at this time were located primarily in eastern and southern Ohio and based on local raw materials.
As agriculture became increasingly mechanized, workers left the farms for the factories. By 1890, Ohio was an important manufacturing and agricultural state. A century later manufacturing had surpassed agriculture as a contributor to Ohio’s economy. Among other economic sectors, services, trade, and financial activity each contributed nearly an equal share.
Ohio had a workforce of 5,582,000 people in 2008. The largest portion of them, 35 percent, were employed in services, which includes such jobs as dry cleaners and computer operators. Another 22 percent worked in wholesale or retail trade; 14 percent in manufacturing; 15 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those serving in the military; 18 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 4 percent in construction; 19 percent in transportation or public utilities; 2 percent in farming (including agricultural services), forestry, or fishing; and just 0.2 percent in mining. In 2007, 14 percent of Ohio’s workers were unionized. "Ohio" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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