The city of Kent, Ohio is over 200 years old, with a current estimated population of just under 30,000. It sits within the Cleveland-Akron-Canton metropolitan area. One of Kent's major draws is the University of Kent, which enrolls more students each year than the city's total population, and benefits the city both economically and culturally.
The cost of living in Kent is lower than the national average and on par with Ohio's average cost of living. Housing and healthcare in Kent are particularly low, comparatively. However, the presence of students and student housing affect Kent's cost of living numbers.
Kent, OH Job Opportunities
Kent's major industries include healthcare, social services, food service, retail and manufacturing. The manufacturing industry in Kent used to be fueled by the railroads, but railroad decline in the second half of the 20th century made room for other industries to take over economic dominance. Manufacturing still accounts for over seven percent of Kent's workforce, however.
Some of Kent's major employers are the Robinson Memorial Hospital and the Land O' Lakes plant. The top three industries for employment in Kent are: sales and administration, food preparation and serving, and education. Kent State University is the city's largest employer, with 2,600 employed academically and 6,800 employed administratively.
Kent, OH Employment Trends
The unemployment rate in Kent, OH is 4.2 percent, down significantly from recession numbers above seven percent. Kent State University continues to be a major economic draw for the city of Kent, with enrollment numbers soaring above 40,000 in recent years. The school has seven regional campuses and has been constructing and improving buildings on the original campus for the last few decades.
The university also has a hand in the city's economic development, including improving the downtown area and encouraging tech company growth within the city.