Employment Growth in the Fourth District's Urban Areas

Article excerpt

In the early 1990s, employment growth in the Fourth District's urban areas (metropolitan statistical areas or MSAs) mirrored that of MSAs throughout the nation. In 1995, however, employment growth throughout Fourth District MSAs began to differ from the nation's MSAs, which it lagged an average of 0.7% per year in the decade that followed.

From 1990 to 2004, total payroll employment grew 10.8% in the Fourth District's MSAs, whereas it grew an average of 18.7% in the nation's MSAs. Within the Fourth District, employment grew most strongly (26.2%) in the MSAs of Columbus, Ohio, and Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky. During the same period, employment in the Cincinnati-Middletown MSA grew 19.4%. Employment actually declined by 8.3% in the Weirton-Steubenville MSA and 2.5% in the Springfield MSA.

Employment growth occurred primarily between 1990 and 2000, after which labor market conditions deteriorated in most Fourth District MSAs. From 2000 to 2004, employment dropped 2.8% in the District's MSAs, but only 0.1% in the nation's. Employment even declined in areas such as Lexington-Fayette and Cincinnati-Middletown, where it grew dramatically in the 1990-2000 period. Employment losses from 2000 to 2004 in the MSAs of Springfield, Mansfield, and Youngstown-Warren- Boardman more than offset the employment gains made in the previous decade.

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Payroll Employment by Metropolitan Statistical Area (c)

                            Employment growth
                            (percent change)

                            1990-2000   2000-2004   1990-2004

U.S. MSAs                        18.8        -0.1        18.7
4th District MSAs                14.0        -2.8        10.8
Columbus, OH                     26.0         0.2        26.2
Lexington-Fayette, KY            29. …