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Press Release

The Columbus labor market remains robust, says Guhan Venkatu, a senior regional officer and economist at the Cleveland Fed

The unemployment rate in the Columbus metro area fell in March to its second lowest level since the early 2000s, according to Guhan Venkatu, a vice president and senior regional officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. “As of the third quarter of 2016, year-over-year employment in the Columbus metro area expanded by 2.2 percent, twice the rate of Ohio’s employment growth during the same period,” says Venkatu. Writing in the Bank’s Metro Mix, Venkatu notes that, relative to the state, the Columbus area saw stronger employment gains in most industries; the exceptions were information and manufacturing.

Examining the Columbus housing market, Venkatu says that the issuance of residential building permits has been strong through the first three months of 2017, and he notes that home prices rose roughly 5 percent in March, on a year-over-year basis.

For more of Venkatu’s insights on economic conditions in the Columbus area, see our latest Columbus Metro Mix.

And browse through our Region, for data, maps, research, and other articles related to the diverse economies and communities in the region served by the Cleveland Fed: Ohio, eastern Kentucky, western Pennsylvania, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

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,, 513.455.4479