Press Release: Columbus Chamber Reports Relatively Stable Second Quarter Employment – Columbus MSA Continues to Outpace National Average

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

COLUMBUS, OH, August 17, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Columbus Chamber of Commerce
is proud to announce second quarter statistics show the Columbus
employment rate is stabilizing and continues to outpace the national
average. The unemployment rate in Columbus is at 8.9 percent: far less
than Ohio's 11.1 percent average, and still below as the national
unemployment average, at 9.5 percent.

In fact, private education and healthcare have continued to experience
a sharp rise, and government also reversed some of its earlier losses.
Plus, education and healthcare are expected to continue enjoying large
increases.

"Education and health services employment is more than 80 percent
healthcare," Vice President of Economic Analysis Bill LaFayette, Ph.D.
said. "This is the one sector whose growth has continued unabated
during the recession – despite legitimate concerns over the ability of
patients to pay for their care. Growth is expected to continue in the
second half of the year."

The Columbus Chamber
reports transportation and utilities also experienced growth of 44
percent between early 2001 and the beginning of the recession. The
sector's decline early in the recession was worse than the national
average, but the trend turned slightly positive at the beginning of the
year. Assuming that growth does not deteriorate significantly, the
comparison to 2008 for the full year should be much better than that
for the first six months.

Professional and business services also experienced employment growth
far stronger than the national average over the past seven years, and
declines in the recession have been less than one-fifth the national
average. Each of the three subsectors has performed much better than
average since the beginning of the recession.

"This sector should be one of the first to benefit from economic
recovery given its labor intensiveness and the likelihood of employers
to increase their hiring of temporary employees as a response to early
increases in demand," LaFayette said.

Leisure and hospitality employment declines in the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA),
including Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Morrow,
Pickaway, and Union Counties, have been less than average since the
beginning of the recession. Statewide employment growth has been
slightly positive, despite some weakening in recent months. Along with
retail, local restaurants have benefited from the stronger-than-average
Columbus MSA economy, while hotels in Columbus and elsewhere in Ohio,
have benefited from the tendency of travelers to stay closer to home.

Other services – including various personal services, religious
organizations, and professional and social associations – along with
education and health services are experiencing higher employment now
than at the beginning of the recession. Although the budgets of
nonprofits have come under pressure, the services sector was growing
much more weakly than average for several years before the recession
hit.

The news is not all positive. Despite the marked economic growth reported by the Columbus Chamber,
the implied Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline would rank this
recession as one of the two worst of the postwar period; its length is
far greater than any of the 10 previous postwar recessions. U.S.
employment is expected to decline through the year and into 2010,
though at a much smaller rate. It is predicted that the national
unemployment rate will reach 10 percent by December 2009 and will still
be at 9.5 percent in December 2010.

More than two-thirds of the 51 economists in The Wall Street Journal's
monthly survey expect the recession to end no later than the third
quarter, with modest output growth in the second half of 2009.

For more information about the Columbus Chamber's economic update, visit www.columbus.org.

About the Columbus Chamber of Commerce
The Columbus Chamber of Commerce leads and supports economic growth and
development in the Greater Columbus community. It supports a membership
of 2,700 businesses. Learn more about Columbus at www.columbus.org.