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COLUMBUS, OH – Columbus employment declined in the fourth quarter of 2012, but the Region still posted overall yearly growth that exceeded state and national levels, according to the fourth-quarter economic development report from Columbus 2020, the Columbus Region’s 11-county regional economic development entity. The report, released today, includes regional economic analysis by Regionomics® LLC, as well as data supplied by Columbus 2020.
The Columbus MSA’s employment declined by 5,200 jobs in the last three months of the year as employment fell by 0.6 percent. Overall growth for the year was up 16,200 jobs (1.8 percent), on par with the state’s pace and above national gains of 1.4 percent. The Region’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged since September 2012 at 5.8 percent, again besting the 6.7 percent rate in Ohio and 7.8 percent nationally.
“Despite the fourth-quarter loss, the Columbus Region enjoyed a two percent gain for the year as a whole, better than both the U.S. and Ohio,” said Bill LaFayette, Ph.D., owner of Regionomics LLC. “It is also important to bear in mind that these statistics are preliminary and will be revised – perhaps significantly – in March.”
Growth in logistics (2.3 percent), healthcare (0.9 percent) and finance and insurance (2.1 percent) continued to exceed state and national levels. The healthcare industry added 1,000 jobs in the fourth quarter, an increase of 5.7 percent that brought the total number of healthcare jobs added in 2012 to 6,500. The most significant losses during the fourth quarter of 2012 were business services (2.7 percent loss, of which 1.2 were computer-related), leisure (1.0 percent loss) and retail (1.2 percent loss).
The Region’s housing and real estate market continued to improve through the final months of 2012. A total of 1,934 residential building permits were issued during the fourth quarter, up 16 percent from the same period in 2011. Home sales in the MSA were up 23 percent in the Columbus Multiple Listing Service area (note this is slightly larger and somewhat different than the 11-county Region) from 2011, higher than the 12.9 percent growth experienced nationally.
“2012 was a year of great progress for the Columbus Region, with companies expanding throughout the region and new companies choosing the region as a place to do business for years to come,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer, Columbus 2020. “This quarter’s analysis is a reminder that we have to work hard to surface opportunities and to connect our businesses with the necessary resources to grow and invest.”
Several companies within the Region added or created more than 500 new jobs during 2012, including: Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (525 jobs), Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc. (1,030 jobs), IBM Corporation (500 jobs), Progressive Medical, Inc. (560 jobs), Quantum Health, Inc. (755 jobs), Sedgwick Claims Management Services (5,242 jobs) and Zulily, Inc (580 jobs).
Columbus 2020 worked with more than 275 economic development projects in 2012, a 79 percent increase from 2011, and coordinated 73 first-time visits to the Columbus Region by companies outside Ohio—up 43 percent over the previous year. The Columbus 2020 team visited 10 cities in the U.S. and one foreign country, Japan, during the fourth quarter of 2012. Columbus 2020 is starting the first quarter of 2013 with visits to 11 U.S. cities and another mission to Japan.
The complete fourth-quarter economic update, including comprehensive data and information about Columbus 2020’s progress, is available at www.ColumbusRegion.com.
About Columbus 2020
Columbus 2020 is a bold public-private partnership that leverages the strengths of the Columbus Region’s talented workforce, small and large businesses, research and academic institutions, and international connections to ignite economic growth and build a healthier, more sustainable future for Central Ohio. The initiative grows our economy by ensuring that our existing companies are growing and thriving, that the world’s leading companies are attracted to the 11-county region, that innovations are cultivated and commercialized, and that our civic infrastructure is continually improving to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving world economy. For more information, visit ColumbusRegion.com.