Cincinnati’s recovery from the Great Recession is picking up steam. According to Current Employment Survey (CES) data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total non-farm employment for the Cincinnati Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) from July 2011 to July 2012 rose by 27,300 jobs, an increase of 2.8%. Since Cincinnati experienced severe job losses in 2009 and slightly lower declines in 2010, any improvement is good news. The metro got a boost in September when the Business Courier reported “Cincinnati unemployment rate falls to lowest level in nearly [four] years.” This source reported that “Greater Cincinnati’s unemployment rate in August dropped to its lowest level since November 2008. Greater Cincinnati’s jobless rate fell to 6.7% in August, marking the lowest non-seasonally adjusted rate since November 2008. The local 15-county area’s economy added 5,500 jobs during the month, according to newly released Ohio Department of Job and Family Services data. The number of jobs jumped by 27,400, or 2.8%, from a year ago. That helped push the unemployment rate down from 8.6% a year ago.” Reis, reporting on the Cincinnati-Middletown Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), reports a June unemployment rate of 7.2%, down from 9.1% one year earlier
Cincinnati.com asked “How is our Local Economic Recovery Going?” in a September 3rd article. The answer was fairly encouraging. “Jobs are returning to Greater Cincinnati faster than to the rest of the nation, despite elevated unemployment that persists three years after the Great Recession ended. That’s the glimmer of good news as America celebrates Labor Day 2012 today. While the recovery is taking longer than those following previous downturns, the 15-county metropolitan area has recovered almost three-fourths of the jobs lost since the recession. That compares to only two-thirds of jobs recovered nationwide, an Enquirer review of latest data shows.”
According to CES data, the recent employment increases were fairly spread out across the various sectors. Construction and related sector employment was down 1,900 jobs (2.4%). However employment in the Manufacturing sector, which has seen its share of declines, increased by 7,600 jobs (7.2%). Wholesale Trade employment increased by 2,200 jobs (4.0%), while Retail Trade increased by 2,900 jobs (2.9%). Transportation and Utilities, which includes Transportation and Warehousing, saw employment increase by 2,100 ((5.6%). Financial Activities, never a large employer here, grew by 500 jobs (0.8%). Professional and Business
Services, a considerably larger white-collar employment sector, saw a job gain of 8,300 (5.4%) in the 12 months ending in July. The substantially government funded Education and Health Services sector added 2,700 jobs (1.8%) while Leisure and Hospitality, home to traditionally lower-paying service sector jobs, saw employment increase by 2,700 jobs (2.4%). All told, Private employment increased by 28,800 jobs (3.3%). Like other metros, the threat of the ending of former president George W. Bush’s tax cuts and mandate federal spending reduction in early 2013 has everyone on edge. After the national elections in November a clearer picture will emerge regarding Cincinnati’s longer-term economic future.