Research Briefing | Jul 30, 2021

US | Metro Economic Forecast: Columbus

Metro Economic Forecast Columbus June 2021 - iPad

Having suffered less during the pandemic, Columbus has recovered 70% of its lost jobs from the nadir of the pandemic. Its net decline of 3.1% from the previous peak of Q1 2020 ranks 10th of the top 51 metros and better than the US net decline of 5.6%. Columbus is expected to see job growth of 3.3% in 2021, 2.7% in 2022, and is expected to recover all of its lost jobs in Q4 2021. Looking beyond next year, Columbus is expected to see average annual job growth of 0.6% from 2023 to 2025 which ranks 28th of 51 metros and one of the highest in the Midwest. Over 2023-2025, state and local government is expected to contribute the most jobs—including those at the state capital and at Ohio State University—along with warehousing, hospitality and restaurants.

What you will learn:

  • What is distinguishing Columbus’s healthy recovery is the number of sectors that have already recovered their lost jobs or never shed any. Both finance and real estate have added jobs from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021 with growth rates of 1.3% and 2.4%, respectively. The construction industry grew 5.0% over the year, and most improbably, manufacturing has grown 0.8%. 
  • GDP in Columbus was just below the peak Q4 2019 in Q1. This ranks 18th of the top 51 metros. GDP is expected to grow 8.1% in 2021, 4.4% in 2022, and 1.6%, on average 2023 to 2025. 
  • Columbus’s investment in its riverfront, parks, bike trails, and other outdoor amenities has started to pay dividends in retaining its local university grads and attracting migration every year over the last 10 years. 

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