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Columbus Chamber Report: Region Adds 100 Jobs

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce says the region stanched job losses during the first three months of 2010. WOSU's Tom Borgerding reports

The so-called Blue Chip economic report tallies 892,600 jobs in Central Ohio, that includes, Columbus, Franklin County, and seven surrounding counties. Chamber economist Bill Lafayette says the figure reflects job growth after a dismal 2009.

"Our first quarter employment was a net gain of 100 jobs, which sounds pretty depressing but when you think about how much we lost the fact that we're stabilizing is, I think, very good news." Says Lafayette.

Professional and business services registered the best job growth for the start of 2010 while the financial industry suffered the largest job losses. Lafayette says the net growth of 100 jobs comes after a recount of 2009 figures showed job losses in the region totaled more than 32,000, or about double the original estimate. Looking ahead, Lafayette identifies two potentially strong job growth areas.

"Transportation is a relatively lower-skilled but fairly well-paid industry. Logistics though is very high-skilled and so you have a diversity of job opportunities there."

Other notes from the regional economic report: Columbus is the only Ohio region to show a decline in manufacturing employment during the first quarter of 2010 and retail growth in Columbus was also the worst of any of Ohio's big cities for the start of the new year.

Tom Borgerding WOSU news