Summary of Economic Activity
Business activity decelerated and was slightly positive as firms grappled with ongoing supply chain challenges, tight labor market conditions, and escalating costs. These challenges also clouded the near-term outlook for the economy, a situation leading firms to be conservative with their investment spending. The soft growth of demand was evident in most sectors save for professional services, which grew strongly. In a change from recent reports, concerns about COVID-19 were largely absent from commentaries, and contacts were mainly concerned about the uncertainty of the economic outlook and the inflation environment. Employment rose moderately, but firms continued to report that they were understaffed. Contacts suggested they were more focused on employee retention than in the recent past and had broadly raised wages and bonuses. Costs rose for a wide range of items, most notably for energy and food. Firms generally had little difficulty raising prices to offset cost increases, and many contacts expected upward pressure on prices to persist over the next 12 months.
Regional Policy Reports
Manufacturing jobs have long been associated with good wages. While some manufacturing workers still enjoy relatively high wages, the premium for workers on the factory floor has shrunk dramatically. Why? And what does it mean for workforce policy? Read More
Read about economic conditions in the Fourth District’s major metropolitan areas.
The Columbus metro area continues to be one of the region’s strongest performers, with a low unemployment rate that continues to fall even as the labor force expands, steady employment growth, appreciating home prices, and low consumer debt and credit card delinquency levels. Read more
Economic conditions in the Toledo metro area continue to improve. The unemployment rate has fallen, and employment levels are holding relatively steady. The housing market is a particularly bright spot, with rising residential building permit numbers, growing home prices, and median home values that exceed their prerecession peak. Read more
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland maintains a number of advisory councils, which allow us to stay informed about how the economic environment is evolving across our District.
Learn more about our advisory councils here
District Data Briefs
The Russia–Ukraine war has had significant effects on both countries’ exports, and trade partners worldwide have experienced interruptions in supplies. This District Data Brief examines how much our region’s economy may be affected by the disruptions. Read More
The size of the US labor force declined by 2.3 million people between December 2019 and December 2021. Our experts examine demographic changes to determine if this decline is a passing trend or if it’s here to stay. Read More
Despite expectations that supply chain challenges would have subsided, disruptions continue. In response, some firms are making changes to the way that they manage their supply chains, and these changes are expected to be long-lasting. Read More
Early Benchmark Employment Estimates for Fourth District States and Metro Areas
Each year in March, the Labor Department releases revised local employment estimates, by using a nearly complete count of employment from an administrative dataset. Since these administrative data are available quarterly with an approximately six-month lag, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland compute an early-benchmark employment estimate for regions in the Fourth District. These estimates are intended to approximate the annual March revisions prior to their official release.
- Early benchmark data
- Early benchmark data geography reference
- DataBasics - Early Benchmarking (Dallas Fed)
Last updated: April 18, 2022 (last observation: March 2022)
The industrial heartland is a geographic and economic region of the United States that comprises those parts of the Midwest and surrounding areas that have relied on manufacturing for a significant share of their economic well-being for most of the last century. Read more
Rust and Renewal Reports
Read about longer term changes to the District's economy in our Rust and Renewal reports, and access updates to the associated data.
While the Pittsburgh MSA suffered greatly during and after the twin recessions of the early 1980s, its experience during and after the Great Recession was altogether different. Read how the experiences differed in the Pittsburgh retrospective
Regional Analysis Team
- Guhan Venkatu Group Vice President
- Richard Kaglic Vice President and Senior Regional Officer
- Mekael Teshome Vice President and Senior Regional Officer
- Joel Elvery Policy Economist
- Stephan D. Whitaker Policy Economist
- Julianne Dunn Manager
- Isabel Brizuela Research Analyst
- Mark Oleson Research Analyst