Columbus2020 Releases Quarterly Economic Development Update

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Employment numbers steady in the Columbus Region

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Columbus2020, the 11-county regional economic development entity, released its economic update for the third quarter of 2011. The report includes regional economic analysis by Regionomics as well as data supplied from Columbus2020.

The unemployment rate in the 11-county Columbus Region fell to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent versus 9.1 percent state and national rates. Employment in the distribution industry (including transportation, warehousing, and wholesale) declined 3.7 percent but manufacturing grew 1.6 percent (1,000 jobs) versus state and U.S. gains of 0.1 percent and healthcare employment grew 1.8 percent (1,900) jobs, triple the Ohio and U.S. growth.

“The trends are difficult to identify in this period of economic transition,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer, Columbus2020. “We believe that the horizon for job growth and capital investment is strong as we look at our pipeline and the growth projected from our existing industries. However, national and global economic issues are causing business decision makers to proceed with extreme caution.”

The Columbus2020 team continues to market the 11-county region for business opportunities around the world having traveled across the U.S. and to six international destinations. The strategy also calls upon the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and dozens of allied economic development groups across the 11-counties to make calls upon growing businesses. To date, the collective team has met with nearly 500 businesses through formal meetings. “Each meeting with an existing business is a service opportunity to connect them with programs and people that can help their business grow,” said McDonald.

Columbus2020 tracks economic development project announcements made by public and private sector partners in the 11-county Columbus Region. Year-to-date, 134 projects have been announced in the region, 45 percent of which are in manufacturing. “These projects represent a combined total of over 9,000 jobs from and new and expanding businesses, and an estimated 6,000 retained jobs,” said McDonald. “We believe this momentum will continue into 2012, and we are committed to continuing our strategy of outreach and advocacy for economic growth.”

The complete Quarterly Economic Update is available at


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Susan Merryman
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