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Press Release

Cincinnati region sees an economic high water mark as solid growth continues

Per capita income levels for the region hit their peak in 2016

“Continued employment growth and tightening labor market conditions have helped to propel income per capita to all-time highs in 2016 for the Cincinnati metro area,” according to Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland economist and senior regional officer Gary Wagner.

Income per capita for the state of Ohio and for the nation were also lifted to an all-time high in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available. “This reflects solid growth of 11.6 percent for Cincinnati, 11.9 percent for Ohio, and 11.8 percent for the nation since the lows of the last recession,” said Wagner.

Job growth across six of the seven major employment sectors stood behind this strength. Only professional and business services shed jobs between June 2016 and June 2017. “During the past year, the financial activities sector experienced the strongest growth in the metro area, adding jobs at a 4 percent clip,” according to Wagner.

Another noteworthy economic signal, inflation-adjusted per capita GDP growth in the Cincinnati metro area exceeded 2 percent for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016, the latest year for which data is available. It’s the first time that’s happened since 2005. To Wagner, it’s evidence that, “the current economic expansion, which began in 2009, has really begun to take hold in the metro area.”

While expanding at a solid pace, the number of jobs in the Cincinnati metro area continues to trail the nation. Compared to the prerecession levels of 2007, Cincinnati has added roughly 25,000 jobs, a net increase of 2.4 percent. That’s comparable to a 6 percent increase over 2007 levels for the nation as a whole. “However, since the beginning of 2014, metro area job growth has only slightly lagged national job growth (6.0 percent compared to 6.5 percent, respectively),” says Wagner.

For more insights on economic conditions in the Cincinnati area from Gary Wagner and Mary DeStefano, see our latest Cincinnati Metro Mix.

And browse through our Region, for data, maps, research, and other information 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