Cleveland Fed examines region's labor market performance

In 2013, the pace of recovery in the region served by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland -- Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia -- slowed, while the nation's picked up. At the end of 2013, only three of the region's major metro areas had unemployment rates lower than the nation's -- Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Lexington.

Bank vice president and senior regional officer Guhan Venkatu says research suggests that employment performance is linked to educational attainment. He notes that metro areas that had higher rates of adults holding undergraduate degrees in 2010 – such as Columbus and Lexington -- tended to experience strong employment gains during the recovery.

Read Venkatu's analysis of the "State of the Region" and watch the related video in the Cleveland Fed's recently released Annual Report 2013.

Venkatu also takes a detailed look at recent revisions to Pittsburgh’s jobs data. Prior to the revisions, total employment in the Pittsburgh area appeared to have grown in excess of 5 percent from mid-2009 to the end of 2013, slightly stronger than the 4.9 employment growth experienced nationally.  However, Venkatu says the revised data show that the area’s total employment grew about 1.5 percentage points less than the nation’s during this period. As a consequence, Pittsburgh’s employment growth fell in rank among the nation’s top 100 MSAs (by employment), from 45, just above the median MSA, to 72, close to the bottom quartile.

Read Annual Revisions to Pittsburgh Jobs Data Alter Picture of Local Labor Market.

And check out our Metro Mix series for just-released economic profiles of Columbus, OH; Toledo, OH; Erie, PA; and Lexington, KY.

Looking for more regional research and data? Go to www.clevelandfed.org/our_region.