The Real Makeup of the Columbus Economy

Over the years, there have been endless claims about how the Columbus economy is dominated by jobs related to state government and OSU. These claims are usually made from other Ohioans complaining that Columbus has an unfair advantage and is mooching public dollars from the rest of the state to prop up the economy.

Let’s first address two points made: 1. That the number of government jobs is far above what they are in all other major Ohio cities, and 2. That overall, government jobs are becoming a larger slice of the metro economy.

The first claim is easy to look into. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, produces numbers every single month on job industry numbers by metro area. The most recent numbers are from June 2016.
Here are the total government jobs for Ohio’s largest cities.

Columbus: 162,600
Cleveland: 138,800
Cincinnati: 124,200
Dayton: 62,300
Toledo: 44,800
Akron: 40,600

So as to the first claim, that the total of government jobs in Columbus is higher than the other cities, that is true. As the state capital, this is no surprise. However, how dependent on government jobs is Columbus really versus those other cities? To find out, you have to divide government jobs by all total jobs within the metro. In June 2016, here was the percentage of the total.

Dayton: 16.17%
Columbus: 15.30%
Toledo: 14.21%
Cleveland: 12.90%
Akron: 11.84%
Cincinnati: 11.43%

Interestingly enough, Columbus is not the top government-dependent city. That spot goes to Dayton.

Now onto the 2nd claim- that Columbus is increasingly reliant on those government jobs. Let’s look at the % of total jobs that government jobs made up going back to 1990. The figures are for June of each year given.

1990: 17.97%
1995: 17.25%
2000: 15.97%
2005: 17.18%
2010: 17.81%
2015: 15.34%
2016: 15.30%

So it does not appear that Columbus has become more or less dependent on government jobs over the last 26 years. Indeed, if there is any pattern at all, it appears that during economic downturns, the number of government jobs increase, and during periods of stability/recovery, government jobs decline. The early 1990s and late 2000s had high levels of governments jobs, both periods of recession. In June 2016, nearly 85% of the local economy was not government-related, not statistically much different than other Ohio cities.

Finally, let’s look at how total government jobs have changed since the beginning of this decade, 2010, by Ohio city. The figures are for June 2010 and June 2016.

Toledo: +2.75%
Columbus: -0.91%
Cleveland: -1.56%
Cincinnati: -3.72%
Dayton: -4.30%
Akron: -10.38%

All cities except Toledo have seen declines.

So that brings us to the actual makeup of the Columbus metro economy. What are the industries that most people work for? What are the industries that have the greatest % of the total jobs? Let’s compare June 1990 and June 2016.

1990
Trade/Transportation/Utilities: 20.51%
Government: 17.97%
Manufacturing: 13.49%
Professional and Business Services: 11.46%
Health and Education: 9.41%
Leisure and Hospitality: 8.63%
Financial Activities: 8.26%
Mining/Logging/Construction: 4.30%
Other Services: 3.46%
Information: 2.51%

2016
Trade/Transportation/Utilities: 18.37%
Professional and Business Services: 17.11%
Government: 15.30%
Health and Education: 14.43%
Leisure and Hospitality: 10.89%
Financial Activities: 7.63%
Manufacturing: 6.84%
Other Services: 4.10%
Mining/Logging/Construction: 3.75%
Information: 1.57%

If anything, Columbus’ economy is actually more diverse in 2016 than it was in 1990, not less.




May 2014 Jobs Data

May was generally a positive month for Columbus and Ohio. Unemployment rates did creep up a bit, but largely because more people came onto the market looking for jobs, which is considered a positive sign.

Also positive is that almost every industry saw decent growth in the metro.

Columbus City
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since May 2013: -1.7%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2014: -1.4%
Civilian Labor Force: 435,500
Civilian Labor Force Change since May 2013: -2,000
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2014: +1,800
Employment: 416,400
Employment Change since May 2013: +5,600
Employment Change since January 2014: +8,000
Unemployment: 19,100
Unemployment Change since May 2013: -7,500
Unemployment Change since January 2014: -6,300

Franklin County
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since May 2013: -1.7%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2014: -1.5%
Civilian Labor Force: 636,400
Civilian Labor Force Change since May 2013: -2,600
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2014: +2,800
Employment: 608,300
Employment Change since May 2013: +6,100
Employment Change since January 2014: +11,800
Unemployment: 28,100
Unemployment Change since May 2013: -10,700
Unemployment Change since January 2014: -9,000

Columbus Metro Area
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since May 2013: -1.6%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2014: -1.6%
Civilian Labor Force: 982,412
Civilian Labor Force Change since May 2013: -4,512
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2014: +2,216
Employment: 939,332
Employment Change since May 2013: +12,108
Employment Change since January 2014: +17,688
Unemployment: 43,080
Unemployment Change since May 2013: -16,620
Unemployment Change since January 2014: -15,472

Ohio Overall
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Unemployment Rate Change since May 2013: -1.9%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2014 : -1.4%
Civilian Labor Force: 5,721,891
Civilian Labor Force Change since May 2013: -48,893
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2014: -41,237
Employment: 5,406,014
Employment Change since May 2013: +60,405
Employment Change since January 2014: +38,259
Unemployment: 315,877
Unemployment Change since May 2013: -109,298
Unemployment Change since January 2014: -79,496

Metro Non-Farm Jobs
Total: 995,600
Change from May 2013: +11,100
Change from January 2014: +29,800

By Industry
Mining/Logging/Construction Total: 33,700
Change from May 2013: +1,900
Change from January 2014: +4,400

Manufacturing Total: 67,700
Change from May 2013: -100
Change from January 2014: +1,700

Trade/Transportation/Utilities Total: 187,900
Change from May, 2013: +3,900
Change from January 2014: +1,500

Information Total: 18,100
Change from May 2013: +100
Change from January 2014: +0

Financial Activities Total: 73,500
Change from May 2013: -2,000
Change from January 2014: -300

Professional and Business Services Total: 162,500
Change from May 2013: -700
Change from January 2014: +4,100

Education and Health Services Total: 142,500
Change from May 2013: +2,800
Change from January 2014: +5,300

Leisure and Hospitality Total: 103,00
Change from May 2013: +1,800
Change from January 2014: +9,100

Other Services Total: 38,900
Change from May 2013: +900
Change from January 2014: +600

Government Total: 167,800
Change from May 2013: +2,500
Change from January 2014: +3,400

October and November 2013 Jobs Data

Unfortunately, I have neglected to update the jobs data in recent months. Part of it came from the government shutdown, which didn’t allow for the data to be updated for awhile, and I forgot to check back.

October 2013

Columbus City
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Unemployment Rate Change since October 2012: +0.6%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.6%
Civilian Labor Force: 430,800
Civilian Labor Force Change since October 2012: +1,300
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +4,400
Employment: 404,000
Employment Change since October 2012: -1,600
Employment Change since January 2013: +6,700
Unemployment: 26,800
Unemployment Change since October 2012: +2,900
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -2,300

Franklin County
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Unemployment Rate Change since October 2012: +0.6%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.6%
Civilian Labor Force: 630,000
Civilian Labor Force Change since October 2012: +1,700
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +6,300
Employment: 590,900
Employment Change since October 2012: -2,400
Employment Change since January 2013: +9,900
Unemployment: 39,200
Unemployment Change since October 2012: +4,200
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -3,400

Columbus Metro Area
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Unemployment Rate Change since October 2012: +0.6%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.9%
Civilian Labor Force: 975,506
Civilian Labor Force Change since October 2012: +2,253
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +7,601
Employment: 915,686
Employment Change since October 2012: -3,699
Employment Change since January 2013: +15,230
Unemployment: 59,820
Unemployment Change since October 2012: +5,952
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -7,629

Ohio Overall
Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Unemployment Rate Change since October 2012: +0.6%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013 : +0.5%
Civilian Labor Force: 5,727,346
Civilian Labor Force Change since October 2012: -2,337
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: -12,946
Employment: 5,300,458
Employment Change since October 2012: -33,230
Employment Change since January 2013: -40,394
Unemployment: 426,888
Unemployment Change since October 2012: +30,893
Unemployment Change since January 2013: +27,448

Metro Non-Farm Jobs
Total: 969,600
Change from October 2012: +9,600
Change from January 2013: +26,000

By Industry
Mining/Logging/Construction Total: 31,800
Change from October 2012: +1,200
Change from January 2013: +4,900

Manufacturing Total: 66,200
Change from October 2012: +700
Change from January 2013: +1,200

Trade/Transportation/Utilities Total: 184,500
Change from October 2012: +1,800
Change from January 2013: +1,300

Information Total: 16,100
Change from October 2012: -300
Change from January 2013: -400

Financial Activities Total: 72,400
Change from October 2012: +1,000
Change from January 2013: +700

Professional and Business Services Total: 161,800
Change from October 2012: +700
Change from January 2013: +6,200

Education and Health Services Total: 141,500
Change from October 2012: +3,500
Change from January 2013: +2,000

Leisure and Hospitality Total: 98,300
Change from October 2012: +3,400
Change from January 2013: +9,800

Other Services Total: 35,800
Change from October 2012: -1,500
Change from January 2013: -400

Government Total: 161,200
Change from October 2012: -900
Change from January 2013: +700

November 2013

Columbus City
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Unemployment Rate Change since November 2012: +0.7%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.7%
Civilian Labor Force: 433,700
Civilian Labor Force Change since November 2012: +4,500
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +7,300
Employment: 407,100
Employment Change since November 2012: +1,000
Employment Change since January 2013: +9,800
Unemployment: 26,600
Unemployment Change since November 2012: +3,500
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -2,500

Franklin County
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Unemployment Rate Change since November 2012: +0.7%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.7%
Civilian Labor Force: 634,400
Civilian Labor Force Change since November 2012: +6,800
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +10,700
Employment: 595,400
Employment Change since November 2012: +1,400
Employment Change since January 2013: +14,400
Unemployment: 39,000
Unemployment Change since November 2012: +5,400
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -3,600

Columbus Metro Area
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Unemployment Rate Change since November 2012: +0.8%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.9%
Civilian Labor Force: 981,927
Civilian Labor Force Change since November 2012: +9,454
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +14,022
Employment: 921,937
Employment Change since November 2012: +1,470
Employment Change since January 2013: +21,481
Unemployment: 59,990
Unemployment Change since November 2012: +7,984
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -7,459

Ohio Overall
Unemployment Rate: 7.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since November 2012: +0.6%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013 : +0.4%
Civilian Labor Force: 5,734,909
Civilian Labor Force Change since November 2012: +6,424
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: -5,383
Employment: 5,307,912
Employment Change since November 2012: -30,979
Employment Change since January 2013: -32,940
Unemployment: 426,997
Unemployment Change since November 2012: +37,403
Unemployment Change since January 2013: +27,557

Metro Non-Farm Jobs
Total: 975,000
Change from November 2012: +9,000
Change from January 2013: +31,400

By Industry
Mining/Logging/Construction Total: 32,300
Change from November 2012: +1,900
Change from January 2013: +5,400

Manufacturing Total: 66,000
Change from November 2012: +300
Change from January 2013: +1,000

Trade/Transportation/Utilities Total: 189,200
Change from November 2012: -700
Change from January 2013: +6,000

Information Total: 16,200
Change from November 2012: -300
Change from January 2013: -300

Financial Activities Total: 72,100
Change from November 2012: -500
Change from January 2013: +400

Professional and Business Services Total: 161,800
Change from October 2012: +700
Change from January 2013: +6,200

Education and Health Services Total: 143,700
Change from November 2012: +4,700
Change from January 2013: +4,200

Leisure and Hospitality Total: 95,600
Change from November 2012: +2,700
Change from January 2013: +7,100

Other Services Total: 35,800
Change from November 2012: -800
Change from January 2013: -400

Government Total: 162,600
Change from November 2012: -900
Change from January 2013: +2,100

June Jobs Data

Columbus City
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since June 2012: -0.1
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.4
Civilian Labor Force: 438,100
Civilian Labor Force Change since June 2012: +5,000
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +11,700
Employment: 409,900
Employment Change since June 2012: +5,100
Employment Change since January 2013: +12,600
Unemployment: 28,200
Unemployment Change since June 2012: -100
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -900

Franklin County
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since June 2012: -0.1
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.4
Civilian Labor Force: 640,600
Civilian Labor Force Change since June 2012: +7,400
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +16,900
Employment: 599,600
Employment Change since June 2012: +7,500
Employment Change since January 2013: +18,600
Unemployment: 41,100
Unemployment Change since June 2012: +0
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -1,500

Columbus Metro Area
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since June 2012: +0
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.6
Civilian Labor Force: 992,617
Civilian Labor Force Change since June 2012: +12,256
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +24,712
Employment: 929,158
Employment Change since June 2012: +11,636
Employment Change since January 2013: +28,702
Unemployment: 63,459
Unemployment Change since June 2012: +620
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -3,990

Ohio Overall
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%
Unemployment Rate Change since June 2012: -0.1
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013 : +0.2
Civilian Labor Force: 5,756,192
Civilian Labor Force Change since June 2012: +9,844
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +15,900
Employment: 5,343,335
Employment Change since June 2012: +15,079
Employment Change since January 2013: +2,483
Unemployment: 412,857
Unemployment Change since June 2012: -5,235
Unemployment Change since January 2013: +13,417

Metro Non-Farm Jobs
Total: 972,400
Change from June 2012: +15,200
Change from January 2013: +28,800

By Industry
Mining/Logging/Construction Total: 31,900
Change from June 2012: +1,000
Change from January 2013: +5,000

Manufacturing Total: 67,800
Change from June 2012: +1,400
Change from January 2013: +2,800

Trade/Transportation/Utilities Total: 181,600
Change from June 2012: -700
Change from January 2013: -1,600

Information Total: 16,400
Change from June 2012: -400
Change from January 2013: -100

Financial Activities Total: 71,800
Change from June 2012: +0
Change from January 2013: +100

Professional and Business Services Total: 161,900
Change from June 2012: +3,400
Change from January 2013: +6,300

Education and Health Services Total: 142,800
Change from June 2012: +6,600
Change from January 2013: +3,300

Leisure and Hospitality Total: 102,100
Change from June 2012: +4,700
Change from January 2013: +13,600

Other Services Total: 36,600
Change from June 2012: -500
Change from January 2013: +400

Government Total: 159,500
Change from June 2012: -300
Change from January 2013: -1,000

Overall, June was a pretty good month for Columbus and the state. Unemployment rose, but mostly because the labor force had strong growth, which is a sign of more people entering a recovering job market. Most industries saw job growth both year-over-year and year-to-date.

March Jobs Data

Columbus City
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Unemployment Rate Change since March 2012: -0.5
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.7
Civilian Labor Force: 424,700
Civilian Labor Force Change since March 2012: -100
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: -1,700
Employment: 398,800
Employment Change since March 2012: +1,900
Employment Change since January 2013: +4,000
Unemployment: 25,900
Unemployment Change since March 2012: -2,000
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -4,900

Franklin County
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Unemployment Rate Change since March 2012: -0.4
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.7
Civilian Labor Force: 621,100
Civilian Labor Force Change since March 2012: +0
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: -2,600
Employment: 583,300
Employment Change since March 2012: +2,700
Employment Change since January 2013: +5,900
Unemployment: 37,900
Unemployment Change since March 2012: -2,700
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -4,700

Columbus Metro Area
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Unemployment Rate Change since March 2012: -0.4
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013: -0.8
Civilian Labor Force: 963,200
Civilian Labor Force Change since March 2012: +300
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: -4,700
Employment: 903,900
Employment Change since March 2012: +4,200
Employment Change since January 2013: +3,400
Unemployment: 59,300
Unemployment Change since March 2012: -3,900
Unemployment Change since January 2013: -8,100

Ohio Overall
Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
Unemployment Rate Change since March 2012: -0.3
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2013 : +0.1
Civilian Labor Force: 5,744,000
Civilian Labor Force Change since March 2012: -26,000
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2013: +4,200
Employment: 5,388,000
Employment Change since March 2012: -8,000
Employment Change since January 2013: -3,000
Unemployment: 407,000
Unemployment Change since March 2012: -18,000
Unemployment Change since January 2013: +7,200

Non-Farm Jobs
Total: 943,300
Change from March 2012: +5,000
Change from January 2013: -300

By Industry
Mining/Logging/Construction Total: 26,800
Change from March 2012: -900
Change from January 2013: -100

Manufacturing Total: 65,200
Change from March 2012: -200
Change from January 2013: +200

Trade/Transportation/Utilities Total: 179,300
Change from March 2012: -500
Change from January 2013: -2,900

Information Total: 16,400
Change from March 2012: -300
Change from January 2013: -100

Financial Activities Total: 71,700
Change from March 2012: +700
Change from January 2013: +0

Professional and Business Services Total: 155,900
Change from March 2012: +700
Change from January 2013: +300

Education and Health Services Total: 140,000
Change from March 2012: +4,000
Change from January 2013: +500

Leisure and Hospitality Total: 90,100
Change from March 2012: +200
Change from January 2013: +1,600

Other Services Total: 35,900
Change from March 2012: +200
Change from January 2013: -300

Government Total: 162,000
Change from March 2012: +100
Change from January 2013: +1,500

March was another mediocre month for the Columbus area, and Ohio in general. All indications are, however, that April really began to turn around the downturn that began in December.