Hillsboro: Zippia versus NerdWallet


By Gary Abernathy [email protected]

Hillsboro is the worst place in Ohio to get a job. But it’s one of the best places in Ohio to start a business. This we know because Zippia and NerdWallet tell us so.

We are obsessed with lists. That’s why the Internet is filled with lists. The gods of the online universe know that surfers can barely pass up a list. Top 10 sexiest celebrities. Top 20 places to visit. Top 30 scariest movies of all time. Top this. Top that. If we see a list online, we’re probably going to click on it.

Once upon a time, lists or rankings came from quality sources. They were usually based on government agencies listing things like population, poverty, healthy living or median income, or respected industry leaders like Consumer Reports listing best products. Today, anyone can produce a list, place it online and create a buzz.

Ever hear of Zippia? No, that’s not the maker of cigarette lighters. That would be Zippo. Zippia is a website that makes lists. Lots of lists. Most of them are job or career-related lists. Ten best places to work. Ten most underpaid jobs. Ten most overpaid jobs. Ten best careers. Ten worst careers.

It’s hard to find much information about Zippia. Most websites have an “About Us” section, but I couldn’t find one on Zippia. According to the whois.com search site, which provides information about websites, Zippia.com was created on March 21, 2015. About four months ago.

But last week, Zippia created another list, this one called “The 10 Worst Places in Ohio to Get a Job.” There were people in Hillsboro who took notice of this list, according to how fast it spread on social media, because guess which town Zippia said was the worst town in Ohio to get a job? Hillsboro. Which city was ranked second worst? Cleveland.

Mind you, our old friend Zippia made no distinction between cities with populations of 6,000 or cities with populations of 400,000. Zippia explained, “After getting the data for all 2,500 places in Ohio, we ultimately decided to limit our analysis to any place with over 5,000 people. We believe this makes the analysis more apples to apples.”

So Hillsboro and Cleveland are apples to apples. Excellent. If the Indians or Cavs ever decide to leave Cleveland, maybe we can convince them to move to Hillsboro.

In announcing the bad news about Hillsboro, Zippia, whoever Zippia is, said, “The town performed particularly poorly when it came to recent job growth and future job growth. It finished in the bottom 5% of all places in Ohio for those two criteria.”

Future job growth? Zippia knows what future job growth will be in Hillsboro? Or Cleveland? Or anywhere else?

If that’s the case, Zippia could have saved Greenfield a lot of angst when RR Donnelley went out of business if it had just announced at the time that Corvac would be coming in with 200 jobs. But no, Zippia waited for the county commissioners to announce it. How rude!

But don’t let Zippia get you down. If you don’t like Zippia’s lists, there are plenty of other places to find lists, and Hillsboro ranks better on them.

Take NerdWallet, for example. Yes, I said NerdWallet. With a name like NerdWallet, you know you have to respect its lists. Well, at least as much as you respect Zippia’s.

NerdWallet, according to the whois.com website, was created in 2009. So it’s been around five or six years. Compared to Zippia, NerdWallet is a respected industry leader in the art of list making. I guess.

Come to think of it, I might have heard Warren Buffett say just last week that he makes all his investment decisions based on Zippia, but only when NerdWallet is down.

Anyway, NerdWallet – I am laughing every time I say the name, but I have to get hold of myself and finish this – NerdWallet says Hillsboro is great. NerdWallet, in May, ranked the “Best Places to Start a Business in Ohio.”

NerdWallet (that name is killing me) ranked 228 Ohio municipalities from the best to worst places to start a business in Ohio. Hillsboro came in at number 21. According to NerdWallet – and you know you can’t argue with NerdWallet – Hillsboro is the 21st best place in Ohio to start a business. The best place is Blue Ash, and the very worst place in Ohio to start a business, way down at number 228, is East Cleveland.

Can you imagine all this becoming an issue in the mayor’s race? We should hope so. Think of the debate.

PAM LIMES: Drew, Zippia says Hillsboro is the worst place in Ohio to get a job.

DREW HASTINGS: Yes, Pam, but NerdWallet says Hillsboro is one of the best places in Ohio to start a business.

Scintillating stuff.

Poor East Cleveland. Not only is East Cleveland the worst place in Ohio to start a business, according to NerdWallet – yes, NerdWallet – but East Cleveland also came in third on Zippia’s list of the worst places in Ohio to get a job. If I’m East Cleveland, and thank goodness I’m not, I’m starting my own list-making company and putting myself at number one in a few positive categories – which would have at least as much credence as any list from Zippia or NerdWallet.

If you do put faith in Zippia and NerdWallet, the good news is that if you can’t find a job in Hillsboro, don’t worry, ‘cause Hillsboro is one of the best places in Ohio to start a business. So just go into business for yourself and create your own job, which is the best job to have anyway.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.

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