July 2, 2016

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Census report: Household incomes drop in Medina County

Take a look at the household income, poverty and home value data for all Medina County communities: CensusACS11

MEDINA — The last decade has seen household incomes drop dramatically in Medina County, its cities and most villages and townships, according to a Census Bureau report released today.

The bureau’s American Community Survey found the county’s median household income was $65,578 in the five-year period 2007 to 2011.

That’s down 13 percent from $75,335 for 1999, adjusted for inflation, as reported in the 2000 census.

County Commissioner Steve Hambley said he was “surprised the county hadn’t yet stabilized” from the last recession, which began in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009.

While the county’s unemployment was down to 5 percent in October from a peak of 9.1 percent in February 2010, Hambley said many residents commute to jobs in other counties.

“About half our residents work in other counties,” he said, “so we’re really tied to the regional economy.”

As a result, he said, Medina County’s household incomes would suffer if Cuyahoga and Summit counties’ economies weren’t recovering as fast.

Tim Smith, Brunswick’s economic development director, agreed with Hambley.

“About 60 percent of Brunswick residents leave to work in other cities and counties,” Smith said. “We’re affected by our neighbors.”

The census survey reported that Brunswick had a median household income of $61,046, down from $75,978 in 1999 — a nearly 20 percent drop in inflation-adjusted dollars.

The county’s other two cities saw comparable decreases: Medina’s income was down nearly 17 percent to $56,389; and Wadsworth declined 10.3 percent to $58,868.

Smith said the decline in household income in the census report could be partially explained by people forced to accept lower-paying jobs.

He gave an example of a project manager who was demoted to engineer, replacing an engineer who becomes a blueprint reader.

The former blueprint reader becomes a truck driver, and the truck driver starts working in the local grocery store.

“I call it the step-ladder effect,” he said.

Smith said the effects of the recession are still being felt.

“The economy’s been tanking since 2008, when the housing bubble burst,” he said. “We had stores all set to come to Brunswick and grow our economy at that time, but by 2009, they decided to stop building stores.”

Smith and Hambley said they expected the census data to show better numbers in 2012.
Among the county’s townships, Chatham showed the biggest decline — 19.4 percent.

A few townships reported small increases in incomes since 1999.

One of them was Montville Township, which reported a median income of $99,971, the highest in the county.

The census data also showed increases in Guilford and Harrisville townships. The report is not comparable for those communities because their 1999 figures include the villages within the townships.

The lowest household income in the county was Lodi’s $34,975, down nearly
21 percent from 1999.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.