Outlook for Jobs in Columbus Eases as Recovery Gains Strength

Workers seeking jobs in Columbus, Ohio will find a number of industries leading the way in the city’s ongoing economic recovery. Logistics, leisure and healthcare show strong signs as leaders in creating jobs in Columbus, along with a number of other sectors.  The city continues to earn high marks from economists and others for its employment and business climate.

The improving situation regarding jobs in Columbus, Ohio continues to generate optimism among business leaders in the city.  Several key sectors consistently post strong performances when compared to the rest of the state and country.  As a result, workers across demographics may find their search from jobs in Columbus more fruitful than other locations, setting the scene for a virtuous cycle of economic improvement and population growth in the coming years.  The city holds advantages for new graduates as well as veteran employees, business leaders say.

According to a survey by the Chamber of Commerce, logistics has been growing steadily over the last several years.  The city’s central location puts more than half the population of U.S. and Canada within one day’s drive, making it an attractive hub for the transportation industry.

The leisure and hospitality sector also shows an increase in the number of available jobs in Columbus. The upcoming opening of the Hollywood Casino is expected to boost tourism and revenue to the city. In addition, the city will be bolstered by the development of the Hilton Columbus Downtown complex, also slated to open in the near future.

Business leaders also expressed optimism regarding the health care sector,  which enjoys a national reputation.  A number of hospital systems regularly garner high rankings when compared to the rest of the country, including Mount Carmel, Columbus Region, and Ohio Health.  Increasingly, patients see the region as a favored destination for medical care, which creates added momentum regarding the expansion of health care jobs in Columbus.  In addition, expansions at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital will bolster this trend.

The retail sector posted strong gains during the second quarter of 2012, with a 2.2 percent spike adding more than 2,000 jobs in Columbus and the surrounding region.  The upward trend during a non-holiday quarter boosted optimism for even stronger gains during the final quarter and Christmas shopping season.  Plans are afoot to revitalize the Worthington Square Mall, which should also help continue to rejuvenate the region’s retail outlook.

The Chamber of Commerce survey also found the finance and insurance industries to be holding their own during the economic downturn.  A number of major players, such as JPMorgan Chase and Nationwide Insurance have provided consistent growth in recent years, bucking the national trend and adding stability to the overall outlook for jobs in Columbus.

Based in part on the strength of the performance in these sectors, the city is gaining attention as one of the strongest performers in the country. In September 2012, the city ranked seventh out of the 102 largest metropolitan regions in the United States. The survey was conducted by On Numbers, a research group associated with American Business Journals, Inc. Other cities placing ahead of Columbus included Austin, Texas, Denver, Colorado, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In terms of the overall situation regarding jobs in Columbus, close to 200 companies have announced their decision to locate or expand in the region in the last year and a half.  The figure translates into more than 22,000 jobs for the region.

In addition to the city’s central location and diverse corporate base, the strong climate on the higher education front makes Columbus an attractive city for businesses. Access to an educated workforce not only strengthens IT and other sectors generally fueled by brainpower, it also plays a factor in attracting manufacturing facilities.

According to industry watchers, as manufacturing moves toward lean and intelligent facilities, skilled workers will be in ever-higher demand. More than 40 colleges and universities are situated within a two-hour drive of the city, creating a deep pool of talented graduates eager to find jobs in Columbus as they enter the workforce.

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