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Press Release

Cincinnati continues to see solid growth, say Cleveland Fed researchers

At 4.2 percent in December of 2018, the unemployment rate in the Cincinnati metro area was 0.1 percent higher than it was in December of 2017. However, the unemployment rate remained in a low range not seen in more than 15 years, and anecdotal reports suggest that firms continued to struggle to find suitably skilled workers to fill open positions, write researchers Rick Kaglic and Tristan Young in the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's latest Cincinnati Metro Mix. The leisure and hospitality sector led the region in employment growth for the 12 months that ended in June 2018.

"Per capita GDP rose 1.3 percent in the first half of 2017 for the Cincinnati region, on par with growth seen in Ohio and the United States as a whole," note Kaglic and Young. "The metro area slightly underperformed the state, which saw GDP per capita grow at a 1.5 percent annualized rate in the first half of 2017." However, the researchers also note that the metro area's GDP outgrew the nation as a whole, which saw a 1.2 percent annualized growth rate in the first half of 2017. All three areas continue to exhibit a postrecession longer-run trend of moderate growth.

Both per capita debt levels and credit card delinquencies ticked up in the first three quarters of 2018 for the Cincinnati metro area. The credit card delinquency rate for the Cincinnati metro area in December was 6.6 percent compared to the national credit card delinquency rate of 7.4 percent.

For more of Kaglic and Young's insights on economic conditions in the Cincinnati area, see our latest Cincinnati Metro Mix.

Browse 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,, 513.218.1892