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Press Release

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.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.218.1892