For Immediate Release
What’s happening at the Columbus Chamber and with our members? In this section you will find a complete catalog of our recent and archived press releases.
To arrange an interview with a member of the Columbus Chamber team, contact:
Michelle Bretscher, APR
Director, Marketing and Communication
August 18, 2011
Columbus Chamber Reports Second Quarter Employment Decrease
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Aug. 18, 2011) – Employment in the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA – Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union Counties) decreased by 3,600 (0.4 percent) during the second quarter, due solely to an unusually large June decline. U.S. employment increased 0.2 percent and Ohio employment increased 0.3 percent.
The MSA’s seasonally-adjusted March unemployment rate was 8.0 percent, up from 7.7 percent in March but down from 8.7 percent in June 2010. The June rate was lower than the 9.1 percent national rate and Ohio’s 8.7 percent. The increase in the local rate was due to a decrease in the number employed, offset by a decline in the workforce.
Sector-level employment performance was mixed. Construction continued its strong growth, and retail and professional and business services also outperformed the national average. Most other sectors significantly underperformed.
“If not for the employment decline in June, the Columbus MSA would have continued to outperform the national average,” said Bill LaFayette, Ph.D., vice president, economic analysis, Columbus Chamber. “Assuming slow economic growth but no recession, I expect to see employment in the region return to its recent trend over the next few months, resulting in modest monthly growth for the remainder of 2011.”
Average employment during 2011 is likely to be about 0.8 percent higher than during 2010 rather than the 0.3 percent increase predicted at the 2011 Columbus Blue Chip Economic Forecast in January. The key reason for the upward revision is not a better-than-expected 2011; rather, the actual 2010 trend was stronger than implied by the preliminary employment statistics available when the forecast was completed.
Four of Ohio’s six large MSAs registered employment increases during the quarter. Akron and Dayton experienced employment growth during the quarter better than both Columbus and the U.S. average, while gains in Cincinnati and Cleveland were much less. Columbus and Toledo experienced losses for the second quarter. However, Columbus continued to lead the other five MSAs and the U.S.in regaining employment losses since the beginning of the recession.
The initial estimate of second quarter growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. – was an annualized 1.3 percent. This is a preliminary estimate that is subject to revision. The economists in the August Wall Street Journal Economic Forecasting Survey sharply reduced their economic growth predictions for the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012. July’s survey continued to show expected growth of 3.1 percent for the second half; the new predictions average 2.1 percent in the third quarter and 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter. Growth gradually strengthens to a still weak 2.8 percent by the end of 2012.
The Columbus Chamber helps businesses thrive. It leads business growth, retention and expansion initiatives in the eight-county Columbus Region, enhances the business environment and delivers programs and services that enable its members to be more successful.