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Columbus, OH – The rate of increase in Columbus Region employment in the second quarter was more than double the Ohio and U.S. levels, according to the economic development update released today by Columbus 2020, the 11-county regional economic development organization. The report includes regional economic analysis by Regionomics® LLC, as well as data supplied by Columbus 2020 and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
The Region’s employment rose sharply in the second quarter, increasing 1.6 percent (15,600 jobs) compared to the state and national increases of 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. That trend coincides with employment growth over the last 12 months, with the Columbus Region experiencing a 1.8 percent boost while Ohio saw a modest, 0.3 percent increase and the U.S. recorded a 1.7 percent increase. Unemployment in the Region was at 6.2 percent in June, less than the 7.2 percent state rate and the 7.6 percent national rate.
“The Columbus Region has consistently outperformed state and national employment growth, which is a testament to the area’s economic diversity and overall competitiveness,” said Jung Kim, director, research, Columbus 2020. “Although the regional unemployment rate was slightly up in June from the 6 percent rate in March, this is largely due to the increase in both employed residents and the labor force.”
The Columbus Region experienced greater-than-average employment gains in manufacturing (3.2 percent), healthcare (2.7 percent), business services (3.1 percent), and leisure (5 percent) – all significantly higher than state and national gains. Additionally, year-over-year comparisons for both manufacturing (2.1 percent) and leisure (5.1 percent) employment in the Region told a similar story, topping Ohio and U.S. increases.
Although logistics employment remained modest and comparable to state and national levels, with a 0.3 percent increase this quarter, its year-over-year gain is 3.4 percent – better than the Ohio and U.S. increases of 2.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. This growth supports the findings of a recent Columbus Region Logistics Council survey, with 90 percent of respondents adding staff in 2012 and 100 percent citing plans to hire additional staff in 2013.
In the first half of 2013, the Columbus Region announced 38 projects yielding 5,438 jobs created or retained. Headquarters & business services represented 39 percent of project announcements, a share 4 percentage points higher than in 2012 and 14 points higher than in 2011. Foreign-owned companies comprised 26 percent of announcements in the first half of 2013, driven by continued automotive supply chain expansion in the Region from companies including G-TEKT North America Corporation and ISS America, Inc.
Columbus 2020 has seen its project pipeline continue to grow, as well as an increase in visits from prospective employers evaluating the Region’s workforce and real estate assets. Notably, the industry composition of projects shifted in the latest quarter, with 32 active science & technology projects in the pipeline at the end of June 2013. It is the highest ever recorded from this industry, signaling that the Region is an emerging center of innovation and technology.
“The Columbus Region’s employment growth and the corresponding high level of activity are no coincidence – these efforts are intentional and go hand in hand,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer, Columbus 2020. “We look forward to continuing that momentum and collaboration with our allies at JobsOhio and each of the local economic development partners.”
About Columbus 2020
Columbus 2020 is a 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.