All Press Releases for August 17, 2009

Columbus Chamber Reports Relatively Stable Second Quarter Employment - Columbus MSA Continues to Outpace National Average

Columbus MSA lost 300 jobs in the second quarter, compared to 4,600 last quarter.

    COLUMBUS, OH, August 17, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Columbus Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce second quarter statistics show the Columbus employment rate is stabilizing and continues to outpace the national average. The unemployment rate in Columbus is at 8.9 percent: far less than Ohio's 11.1 percent average, and still below as the national unemployment average, at 9.5 percent.

In fact, private education and healthcare have continued to experience a sharp rise, and government also reversed some of its earlier losses. Plus, education and healthcare are expected to continue enjoying large increases.

"Education and health services employment is more than 80 percent healthcare," Vice President of Economic Analysis Bill LaFayette, Ph.D. said. "This is the one sector whose growth has continued unabated during the recession - despite legitimate concerns over the ability of patients to pay for their care. Growth is expected to continue in the second half of the year."

The Columbus Chamber reports transportation and utilities also experienced growth of 44 percent between early 2001 and the beginning of the recession. The sector's decline early in the recession was worse than the national average, but the trend turned slightly positive at the beginning of the year. Assuming that growth does not deteriorate significantly, the comparison to 2008 for the full year should be much better than that for the first six months.

Professional and business services also experienced employment growth far stronger than the national average over the past seven years, and declines in the recession have been less than one-fifth the national average. Each of the three subsectors has performed much better than average since the beginning of the recession.

"This sector should be one of the first to benefit from economic recovery given its labor intensiveness and the likelihood of employers to increase their hiring of temporary employees as a response to early increases in demand," LaFayette said.

Leisure and hospitality employment declines in the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), including Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union Counties, have been less than average since the beginning of the recession. Statewide employment growth has been slightly positive, despite some weakening in recent months. Along with retail, local restaurants have benefited from the stronger-than-average Columbus MSA economy, while hotels in Columbus and elsewhere in Ohio, have benefited from the tendency of travelers to stay closer to home.

Other services - including various personal services, religious organizations, and professional and social associations - along with education and health services are experiencing higher employment now than at the beginning of the recession. Although the budgets of nonprofits have come under pressure, the services sector was growing much more weakly than average for several years before the recession hit.

The news is not all positive. Despite the marked economic growth reported by the Columbus Chamber, the implied Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline would rank this recession as one of the two worst of the postwar period; its length is far greater than any of the 10 previous postwar recessions. U.S. employment is expected to decline through the year and into 2010, though at a much smaller rate. It is predicted that the national unemployment rate will reach 10 percent by December 2009 and will still be at 9.5 percent in December 2010.

More than two-thirds of the 51 economists in The Wall Street Journal's monthly survey expect the recession to end no later than the third quarter, with modest output growth in the second half of 2009.

For more information about the Columbus Chamber's economic update, visit

About the Columbus Chamber of Commerce
The Columbus Chamber of Commerce leads and supports economic growth and development in the Greater Columbus community. It supports a membership of 2,700 businesses. Learn more about Columbus at

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Courtney Cooper
Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Columbus, Ohio
United States of America
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