CINCINNATTI (TDB) -- A fresh review of the Cincinnati-area economy shows a jobs market that has flatlined over the past year. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is reporting the nation's 25th largest metropolitan region -- which has about 2.1 million residents -- is stagnant compared to the nation as a whole. The complete text of the Cleveland Fed's report is here. (Or click the chart for some of the data.) The Fed says Cincinnati fared reasonably well during the early years of the Bush Administration as the region's jobs market expanded, but found that conditions have weakened markedly over the past 14 monhts.
The most dismal finding: Jobs in the service sector are not being created fast enough to replace those lost due to globalization and off-shoring as manufacturers shift production to China and other cheap-labor countries.
The Fed report makes clear that unemployment is rising in the Cincinnati area, and that new jobs aren't being added fast enough. Cincinnati may have escaped some of the harder knocks that have rattled other Midwestern cities because its manufacturing base shrunk slightly slower than the nation's -- down 16.7 percent compared to the USA's 17.4 percent drop. The Fed said it was nevertheless a "steep decline" in factory jobs.
"A year-over year employment growth comparison provides a snapshot of the employment situation from September 2006 to September 2007. During this period, the nation's total employment increased 1.2 percent, whereas Cincinnati's total employment was essentially flat, rising only 0.1 percent. The MSA (metropolitan statistical area) lost goods-producing jobs faster than the nation doe to particularly shop drops in manufacturing. Cincinnati's service sector added jobs at a much slower rate than the nation as a whole (0.5 percent versus 1.7 percent). This lack of job creation in the service sector has been at the heart of slow employment growth in Ohio's major cities. Cleveland (on the) Rocks, a recent Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Economic Commentary, looks at this issue in terms of Cleveland's employment growth."