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Press Release

Columbus economy stable and continuing to strengthen, say Cleveland Fed researchers

“Every major industry sector in the metro area added jobs in the 12 months that ended with March 2018,” write Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland researchers Mekael Teshome and Sarah Mattson in the Bank’s latest Columbus Metro Mix. And while the Columbus metro area’s unemployment rate rose to 3.8 percent in August, the researchers note that the rate is still low relative to the average for the state of Ohio (4.6 percent) and the nation (3.9 percent).

According to the researchers, construction continues to be the area’s fastest growing employment sector, while job growth also remains strong in the financial activities sector and the education and health services sector. “The education and health services sector is a major driver of employment growth in the Columbus metro area,” say Teshome and Mattson, “thanks to both its large share of local employment and its quick growth rate in percentage terms.” On the downside, the researchers note that the professional and business services sector has recently grown at a slower rate.

Examining the Columbus housing market, the researchers say that although home prices in the metro area are increasing, area housing remains relatively affordable. On a year-over-year basis, home prices in the Columbus metro area appreciated at a rate of 6.5 percent in August 2018, faster than the state and in line with the national average. The median home value in the Columbus metro area in August was just over $180,000 compared to the national median home value of just over $216,000.

For more of Teshome and Mattson’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 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