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Columbus Economy Poised for Continued Growth in 2014

Walker Evans Walker Evans Columbus Economy Poised for Continued Growth in 2014
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Over 1,200 new construction jobs are expected to be added Columbus in 2014, largely due to new residential development.

As the national economy continues to gradually strengthen, the story in Ohio continues to be a familiar one. The state as a whole is projected to continue to lag behind, while the Columbus metro area shines bright as a diamond in the rough with an above-average rate of employment growth.

“Central Ohio recovered the last of 53,000 jobs lost in the recession in March 2012, and employment is now 16,000 jobs above its December 2007 peak,” states Dr. Bill LaFayette, founder of Regionomics, in his annual Columbus Forecast report released last week. “The U.S. will likely surpass its previous high in mid-­2014. Ohio, however, has to date recovered only 49% of its 414,000-­job loss. Thus, it will be several years at least before Ohio recovers all of these lost jobs.”

LaFayette’s analysis projects that the Columbus region will net gain 18,200 jobs in 2014, an increase of 1.9% (the national economy is expected to grow at a rate of 1.6%). The top industries for expected growth include education and health services, construction and mining, administrative support, leisure and hospitality, and transportation and utilities.

“Growth of both private education services and healthcare has been twice the U.S. rate since 2010,” says LaFayette. “And construction jobs have increased 16.9% since Jan. 2010, double the U.S. average. Multi-unit residential properties have been an especially important contributor to regional construction activity.”

Meanwhile, several sectors are expected to lose jobs in 2014, including information sector jobs, federal government jobs, and local government jobs.

“The publishing segment of information has experienced fundamental challenges to its business model, leading to more than a decade of sustained employment declines,” explains LaFayette. “And local governments have shed 5,000 jobs since November 2008. The majority of these losses have been felt in non-education government services.”

Overall, the future appears to look bright in Columbus as growth across the region continues to be on the gradual upswing.

“Columbus employment has increased 7.7% since the January 2010 employment trough,” says LaFayette. “Which is better than Ohio at 3.7% or the U.S. at 5.7%.”

For more information, visit www.regionomicsllc.com.

Video: Dr. LaFayette spoke more about the local economy at a Columbus Metropolitan Club forum on January 8th. The full video can be viewed below:

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