Ohio Legislative Service Commission
Compared to September of last year, the state's nonfarm payroll employment was
04,600, or 1.9% higher. Employment in private service-providing industries, goods-producing
industries, and government increased by 74,600, 22,700, and 7,300, respectively.
Year-over-year employment gains were essentially across the board, with the largest gains
occurring in trade, transportation, and utilities (+18,400), leisure and hospitality (+18,100),
educational and health services (+16,500), and durable goods manufacturing (+14,000).
Among the 12 metropolitan areas in Ohio, the Cleveland-Elyria metropolitan area had
the strongest nonfarm payroll employment growth during the year ending in September at
.7%, while the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman metropolitan area was the weakest with a 1.1%
decline. The unemployment rate in the Cleveland-Elyria metropolitan area was 4.4% in
September, down from 5.1% in September of last year. The Ohio metropolitan area with the
lowest unemployment rate in September was the Columbus metropolitan area at 3.6%, down
from 3.9% in September of last year. The Weirton-Steubenville metropolitan area had the
highest unemployment rate in the state in September at 5.3%, followed by
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman metropolitan area at 5.2%. Compared to September of last
year, the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman metropolitan area had the largest decrease in
unemployment rate in the state; the rate dropped from 7.2% in September 2017 to 5.2% in
September 2018. Unlike the statewide nonfarm payroll employment and unemployment data
above, metropolitan area data are not seasonally adjusted.
The number of existing homes sold in Ohio in September was 12,667, a decrease by 6.9%
compared to the 13,602 homes sold in September 2017, according to the Ohio Association of
Realtors. The average statewide sales price of homes sold in September was $183,379. From
January through September of this year, existing home sales were 0.7% lower than in the
corresponding months in 2017. The average statewide sales price during the first nine months of
this year was $183,306, higher than the $173,329 average for the corresponding months in 2017.
Economic activity in the region continued to expand at a modest pace, according to a
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland report. Hiring activity remained moderate with a continued
tight labor market. On balance, wage increases were moderate across sectors though a few
contacts cited stronger increases. Retail sales were flat during the reporting period of
September through early October, bucking the nearly year-long upward trend. Manufacturing
activity remained strong. Residential construction activity dropped modestly due in part to a
decrease in homebuyers' ability to purchase a new home. Sales of low-priced homes were
described as better than sales of higher-end homes. Nonresidential construction picked up
relative to the low level of activity in the previous reporting period of early July through August.
Bankers reported demand for commercial and industrial loans softened but demand for
mortgages and core deposits were up, possibly just seasonally. Contacts in the transportation
sector noted stable demand at a high level, but limited freight capacity continued to restrain
The report is from the latest Federal Reserve System Beige Book that summarizes information
gathered on or before October 15, 2018, from outside contacts. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's
district includes all of Ohio and parts of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
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