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Columbus Unemployment Rate Down Sharply In August

The latest numbers on local unemployment show a steadily-improving economy in central Ohio. Columbus and Franklin County have consistently outperformed most of the state since the end of the recession. That trend continued in August, when the city’s unemployment fell to 6 percent. That’s a half-percent drop from July and more than a full percent below the statewide average. Regional economist Bill LaFayette says it wasn’t a case of frustrated job seekers giving up on their search. “You have about 6,000 people more who are working now than were working in January. And so the decline that we’ve seen in the unemployment rate is for real," LaFayette says. LaFayette says the August report means Columbus has now regained 84 percent of the jobs the city lost in the recession. That's more than double the percentage of jobs regained statewide, and more than double the national average. Most other portions of Ohio saw seasonally-adjusted unemployment drop in August. All of the state’s major metro areas saw people go back to work, and only two counties – Jefferson and Belmont in eastern Ohio – saw unemployment rates go up.