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

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“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.

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