Magazine article Economic Trends

Fourth District Employment

Magazine article Economic Trends

Fourth District Employment

Article excerpt

The Fourth District's unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in March from 5.4% a month earlier. Employment in the District was up compared to both February (0.4%) and March 2005 (1.4%). The labor force was unchanged over the month and has increased 0.4% since March 2005. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 4.7% in March and remained there in April.

County unemployment rates in the District tended to exceed the U.S. rate in March. Unemployment rates were above the U.S. average in 68% of Ohio counties. In Kentucky, where unemployment was 6% in March, 51 of the 56 counties in the state's Fourth District area posted rates that were above the national average. Most Pennsylvania and West Virginia counties within the District had above-average unemployment rates as well, except the counties near Wheeling and Pittsburgh.

According to another measure of employment change, based on the Current Employment Statistics survey, total employment growth over the last year trailed the national rate (1.4%) in every major metropolitan area of the District; however, growth rates in Cincinnati (1.1%), Columbus (1.0%), and Toledo (1.0%) came close to average. Both goods-producing and service-providing industries underperformed. Although employment growth in the professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality industries generally lagged the U.S., almost all of the District's metropolitan areas posted increases in these industries over the year.

[GRAPHIC OMITTED]

Payroll Employment by Metropolitan Statistical Area

                                    12-month percent change, April 2006
                                    Cleveland   Columbus   Cincinnati

Total nonfarm                          0.3        1.0         1.1
 Goods-producing                      -0.5        0.7         0.6
  Manufacturing                       -0.3        0.4         0.1
  Natural resources, mining,
   and construction                   -1.2        1.3         1.7
Service-providing                      0.5        1.1         1.2
 Trade, transportation, and           -0.9        0.3        -0.3
  utilities
 Information                          -4.1        0.5        -1.9
 Financial activities                 -0.6        0.3         0.9
 Professional and business
  services                             2.1        2.0         3.4
 Education and health services         2. … 
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